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Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in Colorado

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What is a Medicare Supplement insurance plan?

In Colorado, as in other states, a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plan can cover some of the health-care costs not covered by Original Medicare. These might include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Some plans might also offer additional coverage, such as emergency medical services incurred during foreign travel.

There are 10 standardized Medigap plans in Colorado and in most other states. The plans are named with letter designations, such as Medigap Plan M. Because they’re standardized, plans of the same letter include the same benefits no matter where you buy the policy. For example, Medigap Plan M from an insurance company in Denver has the same coverage as a Medigap Plan M in Durango, or even a Medigap Plan M in another state. Because Medicare Supplement policies are sold by private insurance companies, rates and availability may vary.

Unlike Medicare Advantage, a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Colorado will generally not include coverage for services like vision and dental care. These plans also do not provide prescription drug coverage. Instead, beneficiaries wanting prescription drug coverage should consider either selecting a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, or enrolling in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan in addition to Original Medicare and Medigap.

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Colorado

A good time to apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which for most beneficiaries starts the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B, and continues for a full six months. Medicare Supplement insurance is available to those age 65 and older enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and in some states to those under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to disability or end-stage renal disease. During this time, you have a “guaranteed-issue” right to enroll in a Medigap plan, meaning that a private insurance company may not use medical underwriting to charge more for or deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition*. After that period, the insurance company may use underwriting to deny coverage or charge a higher premium.

As long as you pay your premium for the Medigap plan, renewal of your policy is guaranteed. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.

Pricing for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Colorado

Pricing in Colorado for Medicare Supplement plans is determined by the individual company offering the plan. Companies can choose to set their pricing in any of the following three ways:

  • Community-Rated: Everyone in this type of policy is charged the same monthly premium, regardless of age.
  • Attained-Age-Rated: Beneficiaries pay a set monthly premium when they first enroll in this type of policy, based on their age. Premiums increase as the beneficiary gets older.
  • Issue-Age-Rated: Beneficiaries pay a certain premium when they enroll in the program, which is determined by the beneficiary’s age at the time of enrollment. Costs do not change after that point.

Choosing a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Colorado

You may want to take a look at the Medigap plan types offered in Colorado and consider your usual or anticipated health-care needs. For example, if you make frequent trips to doctors, you might look at Medigap plans that cover all of your Medicare Part B copayments and coinsurance. Each standardized Medigap plan offers a different level of coverage for your Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs.

*Pre-existing conditions are generally health conditions that existed before the start of a policy. They may limit coverage, be excluded from coverage, or even prevent you from being approved for a policy; however, the exact definition and relevant limitations or exclusions of coverage will vary with each plan, so check a specific plan’s official plan documents to understand how that plan handles pre-existing conditions.

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