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Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in Dist. of Columbia

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Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Washington, DC

Original Medicare beneficiaries in Washington, DC, may be able to get help paying for certain costs not covered by the federal program. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover costs like deductibles, copayments, and overseas emergency coverage. For those who see a doctor frequently or have health problems that require ongoing care, out-of-pocket costs can quickly add up.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans may help with some of these costs that Original Medicare doesn’t pay for. In addition to helping with certain cost-sharing expenses, Medigap plans may include benefits like Medicare Part B excess charges or emergency health services when you’re traveling outside of the country.

Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans include a maximum out-of-pocket limit. Once you’ve reached the out-of-pocket yearly spending limit for your plan (including your Medicare Part B deductible), the Medigap plan covers 100% of Medicare-covered costs for the rest of the year. Original Medicare doesn’t include a maximum spending limit, meaning there’s no cap on your health-care costs for a given year. If you get into a medical emergency, your health-care costs can quickly add up without this type of benefit.

Keep in mind that Medigap plans are meant to work alongside Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. These plans don’t provide stand-alone coverage, and they don’t include prescription drug benefits. For Medicare prescription drug coverage, Original Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Enrolling in Medicare Supplement coverage in Washington, DC

There are 10 different types of Medicare Supplement insurance plans available in most states, although not all may be offered in Washington, DC, currently. Each type of plan is designated by a different letter of the alphabet (for example, Plan A), and coverage is standardized for plans of the same letter category.

While coverage is standardized, the cost of the coverage can vary greatly. Cost is dependent on a variety of factors, including the insurance company offering the Medigap plan and the location where the plan is offered. In other words, beneficiaries in Washington, DC, may receive the same coverage as other beneficiaries in the District of Columbia for Medigap plans of the same type, but they may pay very different premiums for that coverage.

In Washington, DC, as in the rest of the country, the best time to enroll is typically during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is the six-month period that starts automatically once you’re enrolled in Medicare Part B and 65 or older. During this time, you can enroll in any Medicare Supplement insurance plan offered in your service area with guaranteed issue, meaning you can’t be turned down for coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions. You also can’t be charged higher premiums because of health.

Once this one-time period is over, you may not be able to enroll in or switch Medigap plans with guaranteed issue. If you apply after your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement insurance can generally deny you coverage or require medical underwriting. You may have trouble finding Medigap plans to accept your enrollment if you have health problems.

Comparing Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Washington, DC

Because cost is the biggest difference between Medicare Supplement insurance plans of the same letter category, it’s is a good idea to shop around to find the best coverage for your needs and at the best value. Keep in mind that monthly premiums are just one cost you should look at; it’s important to compare all aspects of any Medigap plan you’re considering to find the best value for your specific medical and financial needs.

Would you like to learn more about your Medicare coverage options in Washington, DC? A licensed insurance agent can show you plan options that may work for you; contact eHealth to get personalized assistance with your Medicare questions.

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