Each year Medicare has an Annual Enrollment Period from October 15th to December 7th. If you have a Medicare Advantage or Supplement (aka Medigap) plan and want to find out your options or are enrolling for your first time, you can make an appointment to get information about the new plans as early as October 1st. You need to have Medicare A and B to sign up for the plans.
Supplement / Medigap plans are set by the government and the options are lettered, A, B, D, G, K, L, M and N. Each lettered option has the same benefits for any company you choose. These tend to cost more than Advantage plans but offer coverage anywhere in the United States. When choosing how to compare Medigap and Advantage Plans you should consider:
- What is the premium per month?
- Is there a household discount if I enroll with my spouse or someone else in the same household?
- What has been the rate increase history?
- How many years has the company been in this market?
- What is the AM Best rating for financial stability and the ability to pay claims?
How To Compare Medigap and Advantage Plans – Top 10 questions :
- Does the plan offer a Part B reduction?
- How large is the comprehensive dental?
- What is the maximum out of pocket limit?
- Does the plan have a per-stay hospital cost, or affordable per day amounts?
- How much does the plan offer for Over-the-Counter Health and Wellness items?
- Does it offer other allowances for healthy foods, utilities or even copays?
- Does the plan participate in the diabetic senior savings program, helping diabetics avoid the donut hole for their insulin?
- Does the plan include in-network access to all major hospital systems?
- Does the plan have a national network or travel program so members can access routine care out of state?
- Is there out-of-network access?
- Does the health plan have a good reputation for member service, broker service and member retention?