Medicare Supplement plans were born out of the need to help Medicare beneficiaries cover the out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare left behind. These costs can include Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B deductibles, coinsurance costs for a hospital stay, copayments and more.
Overall, having a Medicare Supplement to help you cover extra costs can be quite beneficial, but before you can get one, you must first qualify!
Medicare Supplement Eligibility for Those Who Are 65
Once you are enrolled in Original Medicare and have turned 65, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
During this period, you can buy any Medigap plan the insurer sells without the risk of getting charged more or turned down due to your health condition. Keep in mind that this period only happens once in a Medicare beneficiary’s lifetime, and it only lasts for 6 months. This window starts on the first day of the month in which a Medicare beneficiary is both 65 or older and signed up for Part B. This is the best opportunity you have to sign up for the plan because once this window ends, your preexisting conditions and health problems may affect your eligibility or make you pay more.
It’s also important to note that you cannot have a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan together. Medicare Supplements are meant to supplement Original Medicare, whereas Medicare Advantage is meant to be an alternative to Original Medicare.
Eligibility for Those Under Age 65
Federal regulations regarding Medicare Supplements don’t typically extend to Medicare beneficiaries under age 65. However, most states allow people to buy a Medigap plan even if they are not 65, as long as they are signed up for Medicare either due to a disability or a disease such as ESRD or ALS.
About 33 states require Medicare Supplement insurance companies to allow newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries to buy at least a type of Medicare Supplement coverage. As for Oklahoma, we are one of ten states that requires at least one Medigap plan to be offered to anyone under 65.
Need a Medigap Plan? We Can Help!
The Medicare experts at Caring Insurance Solutions can help you compare your Medigap options as well as help you decide which one fits your needs best. We work hard to make Medicare easier for members to understand so that they can make the most informed decision. Contact us today for any Medicare-related questions.