Covering the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover can get expensive. However, you can lower these expenses with Medicare Supplement insurance plans in New York. Known as “Medigap,” these plans can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs for medical services.
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is right after you get Medicare Part B. Your Open Enrollment Period lasts for six months starting the month you sign up for Medicare Part B. During this time, you can buy one of the Medicare Supplement insurance plans in New York without issue.
The insurance company can’t decline your coverage, raise your premiums, or subject you to medical underwriting. You virtually have guaranteed coverage if you sign up during this time. If you wait to enroll, you may go through medical underwriting. This could lead to declined coverage since it depends on your overall health and the risks the insurance company is willing to take.
New York, like most states, has 10 different Medicare Supplement insurance plans. Each has a corresponding letter; the plans go from Plan A to Plan N. You purchase a plan from an independent insurance agent, but each agent has to provide the same coverage for identical plans.
What can differ is the cost or the premiums of the insurance. Although you have to buy a plan that is within your service area, you can shop around to find the best deal. You may find lower costs in a different city or county. Remember, you pay the premiums on your supplement insurance monthly even if you don’t use the insurance that month.
Your Original Medicare plan lowers your out-of-pocket costs for medical care. It still leaves you with co-payments and co-insurance, though. If you have a deductible, you must pay for services out-of-pocket until you meet the deductible.
Medicare Supplement insurance can help with these costs, but each plan covers different factors and at different percentages. Your Original Medicare plan must pay its portion of the claim first, and then your Medigap plan pays its portion.
Medigap policies do not cover:
Medicare Part A and Part B don’t offer prescription coverage. Your Medigap policy also doesn’t cover prescriptions unless you bought it before Jan. 1, 2006. Any policy sold after that date does not include prescription coverage.
If you want insurance for your prescriptions, you need Medicare Part D or a Medicare Advantage plan. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Part C, you cannot buy a Medigap policy; it’s illegal to do so. Medicare Advantage may provide more coverage than Original Medicare, including prescription coverage.
Look over all your options before choosing your Medicare policies. If you choose the standard Medicare coverage, one of the Medicare Supplement insurance plans in New York can help lower your costs. Shop plans, compare prices and determine the policy that meets your needs and budget.