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As you may be well aware, Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) has out-of-pocket costs associated with it, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, is designed to cover some of these costs. Some Medigap plans may be available in your part of Missouri.
Available from private insurance companies, Medicare Supplement policies are standardized in 47 states, including Missouri. Each level of Medigap plan is named with a letter, such as Medigap Plan C. Medigap Plan C covers a certain portion of Medicare Part A and Part B out-of-pocket costs, while Medigap plans with different lettered names cover different amounts of these costs. But each plan having a given letter name includes the same level of coverage as any other Medigap plan of the same letter name. For example, every Medigap Plan C, no matter where you buy it, covers your Medicare Part B copayments and coinsurance, as well as 80% of certain emergency medical services you may receive outside the country. Medigap Plan L, on the other hand, covers only 75% of your Medicare Part B copayments and coinsurance, and no medical services outside the country. Although the plans are standardized in terms of coverage, plan costs and availability may vary.
If you are considering enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in Missouri, you might want do so during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP): the six-month period starting the month you’re both 65 years old (or older) and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During the OEP, you may sign up with any Medicare Supplement plan offered in your area of Missouri without undergoing medical underwriting or being denied due to pre-existing conditions*. No insurance company licensed to sell Medigap plans can place restrictions or charge a higher premium because of pre-existing conditions* during your Medigap OEP.
After the six-month Medigap OEP has ended, however, you may still apply for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in Missouri, but you may be subject to medical underwriting and any resulting restrictions, higher premiums, or even denial of coverage. In some cases, you may still apply with guaranteed acceptance outside of the OEP.
Note that Medigap plans sold today don’t include prescription drug coverage. If you’re looking for this kind of coverage, you may want to learn about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
Because there may be a range of different Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in your part of Missouri, you may want to look at what each type of plan covers and think about how often you use Medicare services before deciding on a Medigap policy. Remember that costs may differ from one company to another, but that benefits are the same for Medigap plans of the same name.
*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.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.