Medigap plans—also called Medicare Supplement Insurance plans—offer a number of extraordinary benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. These private insurance plans can help fill in some of the costly “gaps” left by original Medicare, helping recipients to save money and improve their healthcare coverage.
For adults 65 or older, it’s incredibly important to understand the benefits offered by Medigap. And yet, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around out there, making it harder to get a clear picture of this vital coverage.
Let’s bring things into focus by highlighting what you need to know. Here are five key facts about Medigap that every Medicare recipient should know:
1.) Medicare Supplement Insurance Can Fill In the Gaps in Your Medicare Coverage
Medigap plans have been called the “Gold Standard” in health insurance coverage, and for good reason. With a Medigap policy in place, Medicare beneficiaries are able to “fill in the gaps” left behind by original Medicare—potentially saving you thousands of dollars every year, while making the healthcare paperwork and tracking process much more streamlined.
Here’s the thing. For all its advantages, original Medicare tends to leave behind certain “gaps” in coverage, which be frustrating and costly. These gaps may range from expensive out-of-pocket costs to a lapse in your prescription drug coverage—an unfortunate break commonly known as the Medicare “Donut Hole.”
Over the years, many Medicare recipients tend to find that the costs of their medical treatments only get more expensive—and that traditional Medicare, on its own, isn’t enough to keep up. Supplemental coverage plans can help you defray common medical costs, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, before they get a chance to pile up.
As a result, Medigap plans can offer Medicare recipients a remarkable sense of financial and personal security. By freeing up Medicare recipients from routine and unexpected health costs, these plans provide beneficiaries with the freedom and flexibility to spend their money as they see fit—whether that means going out and pursuing their goals in retirement, or safeguarding a legacy meant for friends, family, or charity.
In addition to their potential for cost savings, Medigap plans can help simplify the healthcare process. Since Medigap is private health insurance, your plan’s provider will typically cover their portion of your bills right away, freeing you up from having to pay healthcare professionals directly, in may cases. Medigap plans are also usually accepted by any health provider who accepts Medicare, so you won’t have to fret about staying in-network or getting referrals.
2.) More Than a Third of All Medicare Beneficiaries Have a Medigap Policy
Medigap policies are a remarkably popular choice—and they’re only becoming more commonplace as more and more people learn about the remarkable benefits they have to offer. According to a 2018 report from the organization America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), more than a third of all Medicare beneficiaries (34 percent) have a Medigap policy in place.
In total? As of 2017, about 13.6 million Americans owned Medicare Supplement plans, as data from the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance reveals. That year marked the seventh straight year of continuous growth for Medigap enrollment. For reference, only 9.7 million Americans had a Medigap plan in place as of 2010.
3.) Ninety Percent of Medigap Plan Beneficiaries are Satisfied With Their Coverage
As rule, people who enroll in Medigap policies are very happy about their choice. According to a 2017 survey from AHIP, a whopping nine out of ten Medigap beneficiaries report that they are satisfied with their supplemental coverage. More than half of all Medigap beneficiaries say that they would recommend their plan to friends or family.
What do people love about their coverage? Let’s break down the numbers. Per AHIP, Medigap beneficiaries are:
- 93 percent satisfied with their services and benefits
- 87 percent satisfied with the enrollment and renewal process
- 90 percent of Medigap recipients say that the coverage “allows them to see the doctors and specialists they know and trust”
- 90 percent agree that Medigap offers protection from “unexpected, unpredictable medical costs,” and that having their policy “makes it easier to handle medical bills and paperwork”
4.) Nearly Half of Medicare Recipients Don’t Shop Around to Find the Best Coverage
Medigap plans offer remarkable benefits to Medicare recipients. They can help defray routine and unexpected medical costs, while offering exceptional flexibility and helping to make the health care process a whole lot easier.
And while Medigap plans are continuing to reach more and more people, the reality is that many Medicare beneficiaries are leaving money on the table by not looking into all of their options.
In fact, in a survey brought to our attention by the AARP suggests that older Americans are more likely to shop for cable and internet plans than they are for Medicare: 44 percent review their cable every year as opposed to only 40 percent who do the same for Medicare.
And the real crux of the matter is this: In a report from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), 19 percent of survey respondents already enrolled in Medicare said they “do not know what type of coverage they have.” Nearly half of the people surveyed reported that they “never shopped around to find the best coverage,” and a quarter (25 percent) said that they “had not shopped in two or more years.”
It’s easy to be intimidated or overwhelmed by original Medicare and Medigap plans. There are a lot of important decisions involved in getting coverage, and it can be tricky to weigh all of the factors you need to consider. But the reality is that enrolling in Medigap can help older adults save thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical costs every year. And when you free your budget up from the hassles and expenses of healthcare, you’re in a better position to spend your money as you see fit, whether that means:
- Bolstering your savings
- Enjoying an active lifestyle
- Providing for your loved ones
- Going out and enjoying your life goals
5.) You Don’t Have to Enroll In Medigap Alone
The bottom line? Medigap insurance coverage is a key way to protect your health and safeguard your financial future. As you start to look into all of your options when it comes to Medicare, it’s important to go in with as much knowledge and insight as possible. That’s where Matt Peebles and the Enrollment Specialists can step in and help.
As your personal Medigap consultant, Matt will sit down with you and truly get to know what makes you unique. From there, he’ll help you customize the insurance policy that will best suit your one-of-a-kind needs, working with you at every step of the way to make sure that your costs are always minimized and your coverage is at its peak.
No two lives are one and the same—and so, here at the Enrollment Specialists, we don’t believe in cookie-cutter care. Matt will help you create a plan that really works for you, taking into account your health needs, your lifestyle, your goals, and your budget. He’ll field all your questions and help you to truly understand what goes into Medigap—and all at absolutely no cost to you.
And once you’ve enrolled, Matt will still be on your health insurance team. For the entire life of your policy, he’ll be just a quick phone call or email away, ready to step in as your healthcare insurance consultant. Whether you need some quick advice, want an advocate to work with the insurance company on your behalf, or have questions about your policy, this health insurance superhero will be there, always ready to swoop in to help and put your mind at ease. That’s right. With Matt, you’ll always get stellar customer service from a consultant you know and trust. You won’t have to deal with time-consuming call centers, impersonal chat rooms, or unhelpful websites.
Have any more questions about original Medicare or Medigap insurance? Ready to find the Medigap coverage that will truly work for you? Don’t hesitate to drop us a line today to get the conversation started.