Home Health How To Switch From Medicare Advantage To Medigap

How To Switch From Medicare Advantage To Medigap

Medicare Advantage, which can be accessed by people over 65 is a private insurance option available through Medicare. It includes coverage for hospital stays (Part A), medical services and supplies (Part B) and prescription drugs (Part C). You can combine all these services under one monthly payment for the sake of convenience and cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, Medigap is a policy offered by a private insurer that addresses gaps in traditional Medicare coverage. These costs include coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments. In a sense, both these options address gaps in traditional Medicare and both have their advantages and limitations.

For instance, Medicare Advantage offers dental, vision or wellness programs that Medicare doesn’t cover. However, it increases out of pocket expenses. Medigap, unlike Medicare Advantage, is standardized which means you can keep your plan even if you move. However, you will have to pay higher monthly premiums than if you were covered by Medicare Advantage. Decide which plan works better for you, because you have to have either one or the other if you are over 65. If you’re looking to move over from a Medicare Advantage plan to Medigap insurance, these are the three crucial steps you must follow.

Do your homework

 You can research available Medigap plans by visiting Medicare.gov or getting in touch with the insurance company of your choice. If you haven’t decided on an insurer you can call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and ask for comparison rates of different plans.

Pay attention to timing

 You are allowed to leave your Medicare Advantage plan for original Medicare at only three points in the year. A) within the first 12 months of enrolling, B) during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period (Jan 1 to March 31); or C) during the annual election period for Medicare Advantage (October 15 to December 7). This is why it is important to plan ahead and account for making the switch within these time frames. You can also leave your Medicare Advantage if you are moving and your new residence makes you ineligible for your Medicare Advantage plan.

Apply for a Medigap insurance plan

You have to do this as soon as your current Medicare Advantage Plan coverage ends or else you will have to have your health status re-assessed (a technicality called medical underwriting). Some insurance companies might even make you pay higher premiums or refuse coverage if you wait too long between the switch.

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