Imagine you are 65 years old, retired, and about to turn on your Medicare benefits. As you head out to buy a Medigap insurance plan for 2022, you realize that prices have skyrocketed since the last time you were in this position. You are used to paying around $1000 per year, but now it seems like all of the plans are much more expensive.
In this guide, we will explore the reasons behind these drastic increases. First, we’ll introduce you to some of the plans that are available in 2022. We will then discuss what you can do to lessen your cost now so that you can still afford whatever plan ends up being the cheapest in 2022.
Plan A: This is the traditional Medicare program with no Medigap coverage. It does not require an enrollment period, but you must qualify for the program and be enrolled at all times in order to avoid penalties. You will pay 100% of your medical costs until your deductible (approximate $1500) is met. After that, Medicare will cover 80% of your medical costs for the rest of the year.
Plan F: This is a traditional Medigap option with an enrollment period of 6 months after you are first eligible. For all plans, there is no guaranteed issue or pre-existing condition waiting period if you already have this plan. The deductible is $150 and this plan also covers the Medicare Part B coinsurance, which is 20% of all covered services after the deductible has been met. It also covers excess charges if you receive treatment from a provider that charges more than Medicare’s acceptance rate.
Plan G: This Medigap option is similar to Plan F. The difference is that it does not cover the Medicare Part B coinsurance, so you will be responsible for any coinsurance required by a doctor or other medical provider. This plan requires a 6 month enrollment period after eligibility and there is no guarantee of issue.
Plan N: This option has a special characteristic in that its premiums are the same throughout the entire enrollment period. You will have to pay 100% of your medical costs until your deductible is met. After that, Medicare covers 80% of all costs for the rest of the year. Unlike other plans, this plan also requires a 6 month waiting period after you are first eligible before you can enroll in it.
Plan C: This is a traditional Medigap plan with an enrollment period of 6 months after you are first eligible. It has a low, $185 deductible and covers the Medicare Part B coinsurance as well as any excess charges for medical services.
Plan F-**: This is the same plan as above except that it does not cover the Medicare Part B coinsurance.
Plan K: This Plan is a bit different from the others. It only covers 80% of your costs after you have paid the deductible and does not require a waiting period for enrollment. However, you can only enroll during a 7 month open enrollment period once every year and this plan only covers the Medicare Part B coinsurance.
Plan L: This is a new option and is also unlike all of the others on this list. It only covers the Medicare Part B deductible and does not require a waiting period for enrollment or an open enrollment period every year. However, it only pays 80% towards covered costs after you have paid the deductible and it does not cover any excess charges.
The increases in premiums can be attributed to a couple of causes. First, the federal government has recently passed several new laws that help out consumers who are buying their own insurance. One such law is the elimination of the pre-existing condition waiting period for those with Medicare supplemental insurance. This means that any person who had health insurance before buying a Medigap plan will not have to wait for coverage. In addition, the law also requires insurance companies to provide free lifetime benefits for those with chronic illnesses.
Second, many people are living longer than ever before. With this increased lifespan, the number of people on Medicare receiving benefits is also increasing. This means higher costs for everyone in order to manage the program.
How can you lessen your Medicare costs?
Be Wise About Your Medigap Plan: If you are considering purchasing a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, then you might want to do some research. Compare plans with other available options and find out what they offer for the price. For example, if you need full coverage, an HMO plan might be enough for your needs.
Decide Whether You Need Full Coverage: If you do not want to worry about paying coinsurance or an excess of 20% on your medical bills, then make sure you purchase a plan that offers full coverage.
Sign Up For the Lowest Premiums Early: As mentioned above, the premiums for Medigap plans are set to increase each year. If you sign up early, then you may be able to get cheaper rates than if you wait for later.
The first Part of Medicare offers mostly hospital coverage. If you have been admitted to the hospital for 3 consecutive days or if Medicare covered your stay in a skilled nursing facility, then this Part will cover home healthcare for 100 days, as long as you receive home health services within 14 days of leaving the hospital or nursing facility.
This Part is medical coverage. If you need home health services but weren’t admitted to the hospital first, Part B will cover your home healthcare. Nevertheless, you would still need to meet the main eligibility requirements.
Plans under medical advantage provide the services that original Medicare services provide (Medicare A and Medicare B). the major difference is that plans under advantage tend to have more privileges due to them be run by private insurance companies.
These plans may require you to get home healthcare from an agency in the plan’s provider network. You would need to check with your plan for details.
This plan is also Part of private insurance plans, and they usually cover some or all of the costs of the prescription drugs that you would need throughout the whole period.