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It is often not essential for those who maintain their Federal Employees Health Benefits program coverage into retirement to buy a Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) policy, as most people do. This is because FEHB serves a similar purpose. In other words, Medicare typically pays benefits first, and any outstanding balances and medical procedures not covered by Medicare are then forwarded to the FEHB carrier, who then pays in accordance with the plan’s provisions.
However, some retirees cannot continue FEHB or want to discontinue it because they believe that doing so will require them to pay for coverage they can only receive once. In these cases, they rely on Medicare instead. They occasionally purchase a Medigap plan, a type of private insurance intended to help cover Medicare cost-sharing requirements and other coverage gaps. There is conventional Medigap insurance, and each one provides a unique set of advantages.
The Medigap open enrollment period is the ideal time to get insurance. If you are 65 or older, you have the right to purchase the Medigap coverage of your choice for six months from the day you initially enroll in Medicare Part B.
If you get coverage during this time, your application will not be denied, or your rates won’t be increased due to bad health. You might not be able to buy the coverage of your choosing when the open enrollment period for Medigap expires. You may have to take the Medigap plan your insurance provider is willing to provide.
Your Medigap open enrollment period starts when you turn 65 if you have Medicare Part B but are under 65. Several states do, however, mandate at least a brief open enrollment period for Medicare recipients under 65.
Your state’s health insurance support program can answer questions concerning Medicare and other health insurance. The services are free. You can seek help to know whether you require additional insurance and, if so, what sort and how much insurance to buy.
You can also learn more about Medicare SELECT, a different sort of Medicare supplementary health insurance offered by insurance companies and HMOs across the majority of the nation, via your state assistance program.
Nearly all aspects of Medicare SELECT and traditional Medigap insurance are the same. The distinction is that, unless there is an emergency, you must use a specific hospital or doctor that each insurance has designated to be qualified for full benefits. Medicare SELECT plans often have lower rates than standard Medigap policies due to this criterion.
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