Saturday, September 20, 2014

5 Common Medigap Insurance Myths Every Retiree Should Know



By Bill Loughead

There are a lot of Myths about Medigap Insurance Plans that get discussed every year with new clients and we thought we would share some important ones.  After all, it is a lot to remember.  Who can keep track of all the parts and plans such as Medicare Part  A & B and Plans A, B, C, D, G, F and J just to name a few.  It is enough to give anyone a headache.  If that isn't enough there are different names that mean the same thing like Medigap Plans and Medicare Supplement Plans.  They are just two names that describe exactly the same thing.
Medigap Insurance Myths


Myth #1- I need to make sure I pick a plan that has a strong network in my area that includes my doctor.


Fact:  Medigap Plans (or Medicare Supplement Plans) do not have a network.  You can go to any doctor or hospital in any state you want.  If they take Medicare they will take the plan regardless of who the carrier is.  That never changes.  Anytime you hear of someone’s doctor not being in network it is because that person has a Medicare Advantage plan.


Myth #2- I can only switch my Medigap Plan (Medicare Supplement) during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).


Fact:  You can switch your Medigap Plan any time of the year that it benefits you.  You do not need to wait for a certain time.  The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is only for people who have a Medicare Advantage Plan or for your Part D Prescription Drug Plan.  Most people don’t realize this because there is so much advertising done in the last half of the year by insurance carriers for AEP so it has led everyone to believe it.


Myth #3- All insurance companies price Medigap Plans the same so I don’t need an independent agent.


Fact:  Prices can vary greatly for exactly the same plan from one insurance carrier to the next.  For example, one insurance carrier can charge $150 per month for Plan F while another well-known carrier may charge $220 per month for the same plan.  Benefits are identical but the price isn’t.  In addition, there are 11 different Medigap Plans with varying degrees of benefits.  An independent agent can help you sort through it all.


Myth #4- My insurance won't be as good as my employer’s group plan.


Fact:  Medicare along with a good Medigap Plan is great health insurance.  Most Medigap Plan’s do not have coinsurance and high deductible like many employer group plans.  Often time’s people who get a Medigap Plan get more comprehensive coverage for less than what they were paying with their employer.


Myth #5- It will cost more if I use an independent insurance agent or broker.


Fact:  The services of an independent agent are free to you.  You will get exactly the same premium if you go directly to the insurance carrier or if you use an independent agent.  The difference is you save money because the independent agent will show you all the plans from all the major carriers and help you pick a plan that fits your needs.  A good agent will also help you save money down the road when carriers come out with different plans and rates.  You pay exactly the same but get unbiased advice from the independent agent. The insurance company pays the agent for getting you a policy.  The insurance company saves money because they do not pay the agents office space, staff salaries, marketing or other expenses.  Similar to when you buy a house using a buyer’s agent, the seller pays your realtor’s commission, not you.



Summit Medigap is an independent insurance agency that specializes in Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap Plans). We make Medicare seem easy™. For more information about Medicare supplement insurance visit http://www.SummitMedigap.com/ or call us at 1-888-40-Summit (888-407-8664). We have helped many people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado and Michigan.

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