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Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in Rhode Island

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About Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Rhode Island

If you’re a Rhode Island beneficiary currently enrolled in Original Medicare, you may have noticed that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover everything. There are gaps between what Original Medicare pays and what beneficiaries must cover out-of-pocket. For example, you may owe a copayment or coinsurance amount for doctor visits, even after Medicare has paid for its share.

If you’d like help paying for some of these costs, a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island may cover expenses that Original Medicare does not pay for. Also known as Medigap, these plans may pay for copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and other out-of-pockets costs. In addition to cost-sharing expenses, Medicare Supplement insurance may help with costs like the first three pints of blood or overseas emergency health coverage.

Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans include an out-of-pocket limit, meaning that once your out-of-pocket spending has reached the plan limit, your Medigap plan will cover 100% of Medicare-covered costs for the rest of the year. It’s worth noting that Original Medicare doesn’t have an annual maximum spending limit, meaning there’s no cap on how much you could spend for health care in a given year. If you have a serious medical emergency that requires ongoing care, your medical costs could quickly spiral out of control.

In most states, including Rhode Island, there are 10 standardized Medigap plans available, each labeled with a letter. Each of the 10 plan types offers a different level of coverage, and Medicare Supplement insurance plans of the same letter type have the same benefits, no matter which insurance company offers the plan.

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, as in the rest of the country, you need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible for Medigap insurance. You’ll need to stay enrolled in Original Medicare for the rest of your hospital and medical coverage. Medicare Supplement insurance plans are meant to work alongside your Original Medicare benefits; they don’t provide stand-alone coverage.

However, in general, you’ll have the most coverage options if you enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan during your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). This is the period that starts on the first day of the month that you’re at least 65 years old or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you have guaranteed-issue rights, meaning you can enroll in any Medigap plan offered in your Rhode Island service area, regardless of any pre-existing conditions* you may have. Insurance companies can’t deny you coverage or charge higher premiums because of health issues. Once this period is over, you can’t get it again.

You can still enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan or switch plans after your Medigap Open Enrollment Period has ended; however, you may not be able to do so with guaranteed-issue rights. Insurance companies may require you to submit to medical underwriting, which could result in a higher monthly premium or denial of coverage. Keep in mind that you may still have guaranteed-issue rights in certain situations, such as if your Medigap insurance company goes bankrupt or misled you.

Comparing Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Rhode Island

As mentioned, Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Rhode Island don’t vary in coverage or benefits when it comes to plans of the same letter category. In other words, the main difference between plans of the same letter type is the premium cost, so it’s a good idea to shop around to find that coverage at the best value. Just type your ZIP code in the box on this page to get started.

*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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