Elderly people certainly know about Medicare, the federally funded health insurance program that covers health care expenses. But does it pay for them all? Unfortunately, many medical services may still remain not covered.
The gap between what Medicare offers and the whole amount of possible payments is filled by means of Medicare supplemental insurance plans. Federal and state governments have nothing to do with these policies, as they are only provided by private insurers. However, federal laws control the procedure and state laws make special modifications, thus details may vary a little from state to state. So if you are, for example, a Florida resident, then Florida Medigap insurance is the only version of Medigap plans you’ll have to deal with.
However, Medigap policies are standardized under 12 different plans, and the benefits for each are identical from company to company. All 12 plans cover a number of basic benefits including blood, hospitalization and medical expenses. And some of the plans also offer optional benefits like at-home recovery, basic drugs, extended drugs, foreign travel emergency, preventive care and skilled nursing coinsurance.
As the supplemental plans are standard, cost and service is the only difference between Medigap policies sold by various insurers. Medicare supplement rates may depend on individual circumstances including age, place of residence, gender, smoking habits, payment intervals and whether you purchase your insurance plan through an agent or directly from the company. In rate guides companies usually mention the lowest and highest Medigap rates, so these are estimates and in practice, they might vary.
Finally, there is one more important thing about Medigap–one supplement policy is enough. In order to protect yourself from some unscrupulous insurers, duplicate coverage is prohibited by law.
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