The rising costs of healthcare services always make us feel insecure. They make us wonder if our health insurance coverage is adequate enough. Out of this fear, we sometimes buy some policies which may not be necessary and can be avoided, thereby saving us some money.
Medigap is one such policy. It works as a supplemental insurance policy with Medicare Part A and Part B. The most important job Medigap policies do is to cover the additional expenses of Part A and B – the deductibles, copayments and coinsurance amounts. It also provides some extra coverage which is not included under Original Medicare plans.
You have to pay a separate premium for Medigap apart from what you pay for Medicare Part B. The premiums for Medigap can be high depending on the type of plan you choose and your location. So, you need to consider whether you really need Medigap or you can do without it.
Main Reasons Why You Don’t Need Medigap
The deductibles and copayments with Medicare Part A and Part B can be quite substantial. Medigap really helps to mitigate these costs when you have frequent doctor visits and need other medical services. However, if you are relatively healthy and do not have to go to the doctor too often, your additional expenses will also be low. Taking a Medigap policy might not be worth it in that case.
Medigap offers some benefits which are not covered by Original Medicare, like, foreign travel medical emergency expenses. If you think these additional benefits are not really useful for you, then you can consider not buying a Medigap plan.
Also, if you already have a supplemental insurance from your employer as retiree benefits or covered under some group coverage, you may be able to do without buying a Medigap plan.
So,if yourmedical needs are reasonably low, you can do without a Medigap policy. Medicare Part A and Part B covers your basic medical needs.
However, whether to buy a Medigap policy or drop it after buying is very important. This is because the window for buying a Medigap plan is narrow. The first opportunity to buy a Medigap plan starts from the day you turn 65 and get enrolled into Original Medicare and lasts till six months. Buying during this period guarantees approval and no higher premiums even for pre-existing conditions. After this period is over, it gets more difficult to buy a Medigap plan. If you lose health insurance or your Medicare Advantage plan is withdrawn, you can buy a Medigap plan with guaranteed approval within a specific time.You may have to pay higher premiums if you buy outside the open enrollment period.
When you have very limited resources, consider your medical requirements and expenses in order to decide whether a Medigap policy is worth the cost.