Medigap (Medicare Supplement)
MEDIGAP PLANS - What you should know
Medicare Supplement insurance is also called “Medigap”. It is sold by private insurance companies designed to cover the costs left over after Medicare Part A and B pay. People that are eligible for employer-or union health insurance or Medicaid usually do not need Medicare supplement insurance.
Medigap insurance companies in Alaska sell “standardized” policies which means companies can only sell 10 plans identified by the letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. A company does not have to sell all 10 plans, but every company must sell Plan A (Basic Benefits only). If the insurance company offers any plan in addition to Plan A, the company must also offer Plan C or F. Each company decides which Medigap policy it wants to sell. As long as you compare the same alphabet letter the benefits are the same, the only difference is the company and the monthly (premium) cost.
MEDIGAP Open Enrollment Period
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your “Medigap open enrollment period”. Your open enrollment period starts when you are age 65 or older and enroll in Medicare Part B for the first time. This period lasts for 6 months and during this time an insurance company cannot reject you for any policy it sells, and cannot charge you more than anyone else your age.
People who are on Medicare and younger than 65 will find it difficult to purchase a Medicare supplement plan in Alaska. Those under 65 will not be eligible for a “Medigap open enrollment period” until they become 65.
Alaska’s Medicare Information Office has more information about Medigap and you are welcome to call us for unbiased information at (907) 269-3680 or toll-free in Alaska 1-800-478-6065.
You can also compare Medigap policies online by using the federal Medicare web site at http://medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/medigap-home.aspx