What is a Medicare Supplement insurance plan?
In Maryland, a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, also referred to as Medigap, can be used in combination with Original Medicare to cover out-of-pocket costs. These costs might include coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments for Part A, Part B, or a combination of the two. In addition, some Medigap plans might offer coverage for extended hospital stays, blood, or medical services rendered outside the U.S.
There are 10 different types of Medigap plans available, all categorized by a different letter of the alphabet. Plans that fall into a single category will offer identical coverage, whether they are Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Maryland, or plans from most other states. However, the cost of a plan can vary from state to state, or even from county to county.
Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Maryland
Beneficiaries are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Maryland if they are already enrolled in Part A and Part B. The best time to purchase a Medigap policy is during the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which extends for six full months, beginning the first month the beneficiary turns 65 and is enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, companies are restricted from performing medical underwriting before offering a Medigap policy.
This restriction means that all beneficiaries in their Medigap Open Enrollment Period are eligible for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Maryland, regardless of previous health history and current health status. Once a beneficiary is enrolled in a Medigap plan, renewal is guaranteed each year as well, provided that the beneficiary continues to make monthly premium payments. However, beneficiaries applying for a Medigap plan after the Medigap Open Enrollment Period may have to pay more for coverage or may even be denied coverage completely based on medical status.
Choosing a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Maryland
Coverage does not vary within a specific category of Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Maryland. Every Medigap Plan F, G, or N will offer identical benefits, regardless of the company selling the policy or the area in which the plan is sold. However, those factors may influence the overall cost of the plan, which can vary.
Beneficiaries interested in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Maryland should first select the plan category that meets their needs best. Once they have selected the plan type, they can then shop for the best rate on a plan in their area.