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Medicare Supplement Plans in Georgia
What is a Medicare Supplement plan?
A Medicare Supplement plan in Georgia, also referred to as Medigap, fills in the gaps in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage. These plans cover out-of-pocket costs such as coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, and other expenses not covered by Original Medicare. Some plans also offer coverage for specific medical services, such as services rendered out of the country or hospice care.
A Medicare Supplement plan in Georgia, as the name suggests, is not designed to provide stand-alone coverage. It is only available to beneficiaries who are already enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Beneficiaries also have the option of enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan if they wish to purchase more extensive medical coverage or include prescription drug coverage with their benefits. Keep in mind that Medicare Supplement plans cannot be added to a Medicare Advantage plan and have not offered prescription drug coverage since 2006.
Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan in Georgia
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Georgia is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period begins on the first day of the month that a beneficiary is both enrolled in Medicare Part B and is age 65 or older. During the Open Enrollment Period, companies offering a Medicare Supplement plan cannot base rates or coverage decisions on medical underwriting. This means that even beneficiaries with a medical condition or medical history have the guaranteed issue right to enroll in a plan of their choosing without being charged more or denied coverage completely.
If a beneficiary enrolls in a Medicare Supplement plan in Georgia outside of their Open Enrollment Period, insurance companies may adjust rates based on a variety of factors. Community-rated plans set the same premium for all beneficiaries, regardless of age. Issue-age-rated plans base premium amounts on the age of the beneficiary at the time of enrollment. Attained-age-rated plans increase premium amounts as the beneficiary ages. Other factors that could impact the cost of a Medigap plan include marital status, gender, location, and overall health.
Choosing a Georgia Medicare Supplement plan
In Georgia, Medicare Supplement plans are offered by individual companies. There are ten standardized Medigap plans available for qualified beneficiaries, and these plans are noted by the letters A through N. All of the same lettered plans will provide identical benefits. However, the cost of the plans can vary somewhat, based on the company offering the plan and on the plan's location.
When shopping for a Medicare Supplement plan in Georgia, you should first choose the lettered plan that best meets your individual needs. Within that category, you can then select the plan that works with your budget.
Trends in Medicare Supplement plans in Georgia
Some of the trends seen in Medicare Supplement plans in Georgia include:
- There was a total of 1,318,733 Medicare beneficiaries in the state in 2012.
- Of that total, 80% qualified for benefits according to age and 20% qualified because of a disability.
- Companies in Georgia did offer Medigap plans to beneficiaries under the age of 65 who qualified for benefits based on a disability.
- Georgia uses the issue-age-rated pricing scale, which means premium pricing is based on the beneficiary's age at the time the policy was purchased.
- On a national level, the most popular Medigap plan in 2012 was Plan F.
Data provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.