MEDIGAP PLANS AND CANCER
If you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis, the last thing you want to worry about is problems with your insurance. Thankfully, Medicare provides many options to help you receive the best coverage possible without creating additional financial stress. In fact, according to The American Cancer Society, Medicare pays almost half of the $74 billion spent on cancer treatment each year.
To receive the most complete coverage possible, we recommend purchasing a Medigap plan in addition to Original Medicare. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about securing optimal coverage through Medigap.
WHAT DOES ORIGINAL MEDICARE COVER?
While purchasing a Medigap plan will help round out your coverage, it’s important to note that Original Medicare- Medicare Part A and Part B- covers a wide variety of financial costs associated with cancer treatment, including forms of chemotherapy and radiation. Medicare Part B also includes preventative services like cancer screenings.
To receive coverage, it’s essential to get all cancer treatment from the appropriate Medicare health care providers. Keep in mind that exact costs will differ depending on if you receive inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Although Original Medicare covers some components of cancer treatment, you are still responsible for paying any remaining expenses, like copays and coinsurance. That’s why we recommend purchasing Medicare Supplement insurance- or Medigap- to help make up the difference. A Medigap plan will help reduce your out-of-pocket costs and allow you to budget more effectively throughout the treatment process.
WHAT IS A MEDIGAP PLAN?
Medigap Insurance is private health insurance that helps supplement Original Medicare. It’s commonly referred to as Medicare Supplement insurance. It provides reduced copayments, deductibles, and other coverages for several categories of healthcare treatment.
Unlike Original Medicare, however, Medigap plans are offered through private insurance companies. This means you have the ability to research and shop around to find the best plan possible for your specific needs and lifestyle.
You need to be enrolled in Original Medicare to be eligible for a Medigap plan. Even with Medigap, you’ll still use Original Medicare for your hospital and medical coverage. Medigap simply fills in the gaps of the coverage, bringing you more financial security when dealing with a complicated diagnosis like cancer.
There are 10 Medigap plans available nationwide: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each offers different levels of coverage and comes with different pricing. These plans are standardized, meaning the benefits offered do not change from state-to-state or company-to-company. Please note that this excludes Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin who have their own standards.
Because there are so many plans, you have the ability to shop around and find the best plan at the best price. This is one of the benefits of Medigap insurance- you have the power to find the appropriate plan for you at your desired price point.
HOW CAN MEDIGAP PLANS HELP?
The main reason to purchase Medigap coverage is to supplement Original Medicare. This will allow you to receive the most complete coverage package possible. Medigap plans help to pay some of the hospital and medical costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover.
With Medigap, you will have additional protection from unexpected medical expenses. Many Medigap plans offer quality coverage that can save you money financially. With the right plan, you can even receive up to 100% coverage for many services.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter when you received your cancer diagnosis. If you apply for Medigap coverage during the Medigap Open Enrollment period, you cannot be denied based on a pre-existing condition.
WHICH PLAN SHOULD I CHOOSE?
There are pros and cons associated with each Medigap plan. Choosing the right plan is a very personal decision, and you have to take your specific circumstances into account. Don’t just focus on price; you want to make sure your plan includes enough coverage, especially if you are getting cancer treatment.
Plan F is the Medigap plan with the highest level of benefits. It offers a high-deductible plan with a deductible amount up to $2,200 in 2018. Plan G is similar to Plan F but does not include coverage for your Medicare Part B deductible.
Plans K and L may be good choices as well, as they are the only plans with an out-of-pocket limit which functions as a deductible. Once you meet your yearly out-of-pocket limit, and your yearly Part B deductible, these plans pay 100% of your covered services for the rest of the year.
Remember that Medicare Supplement plans are standardized. Federal and state governments mandate that the benefits offered do not change from state-to-state or company-to-company (except for Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). However, there is no mandate on price, and you’ll find different costs associated with different insurance providers. With enough research and shopping around, you may be able to find your desired plan for less money. To get started finding your ideal plan at the lowest possible price point, use Ensurem’s Medigap Multi-Quote Tool. With this tool, you can instantly compare rates from top insurance providers in your area.
NEED MORE HELP DECIDING ON A MEDIGAP PLAN?
We understand that choosing a Medigap plan can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with a diagnosis like cancer. We want to help make the process as streamlined as possible.
If you have any questions about which Medigap plan or rating type is best for you, we recommend you speak with an insurance broker, like Ensurem, who employs licensed senior insurance specialists.
These specialists are licensed insurance agents. They know everything there is to know about Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance. And, these licensed agents aren’t affiliated with an insurance company. That means they’re less likely to push one plan over another and more likely to give you an unbiased recommendation.
To speak with a licensed insurance specialist today, give us a call at 866-621-9295.
When you’re in the midst of battling cancer, the last thing you want to worry about is insurance coverage. That’s why it’s important to purchase a Medigap plan to help you receive the most appropriate coverage package possible and use all the tools Ensurem has to offer. Medigap plans can help save you money and stress over insurance issues, leaving you with more time and energy to focus on what really matters: your health.