Medicare supplement plans or Medigap is the private health insurance plans that are for those people who already have a Medicare policy. The Medigap or Medicare supplement plans helps the Medicare beneficiaries to bear that extra medical cost that are left aside by the original plans. The name Medigap is suggested because it is believed that these policies bridges the gap between the Medicare coverage and the original expenses or the total bill charged.
If you are in the Original Medicare plan you are able to buy a Medicare supplement plan and both of them would pay you their share of coverage. It is to be noted that the Medigap policies are private health insurance plans and the private insurance companies can only sell them and not by any government organizations. These plans are totally administered by the private insurance companies. But it is to be mentioned that though these plans are completely administered and sold by private insurance companies but still there are only 12 supplementary plans labeled A through L. All these plans have there separate policy coverage but the plans under the same letter cover must provide the same benefits. It means that no matter from which company you have bought the policy, they must provide the same coverage as provided by the other companies, nothing more or nothing less.
Almost all of the Medicare Supplement Plans provide the basic benefits of plan A and in addition to that they have their additional benefits. Therefore before choosing a plan for yourself you need to be very careful so that you may choose the right one for yourself and not loose the deal. Therefore seeking the help of an insurance agent can be the most fruitful as they are more aware of the policy details and the rates of different companies. Moreover it should be remembered that though the companies are bound to provide the same benefits under the same letter cover, but they have the freedom of fixing their rates. And the premium rates for the same plan may differ for different companies.
The eligibility criteria that have been fixed by most of the companies which are providing health insurance plans are as follows. To go for a Medicare supplement plan a person is required to be enrolled in part A and B of original Medicare before they can go for a Medigap policy. A person may obtain a Medigap plan on a guaranteed issue basis during the open enrollment period, which begins within 6 months of turning 65 or enrolling in Medicare Part B at 65 or older. And also that in this period no medical screening is required. But besides open enrollment the issuing insurance company may also put forth the requirement of medical screening and also may obtain an attending physicians statement if it is felt necessary. But the thing that should be kept in mind is that this policy is not compatible with any other forms of private medical coverage as for example a Medicare Advantage plan.
Article Source: TakeArticles.com - Benefits and eligibility criteria of Medigap policy