Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some basic questions regarding Medicare to get you started in your research. If you need personalized guidance, please feel free to contact me at (954) 562-8766 or via email at devin.barta@gmail.com.

If I don’t take any prescriptions should I get a Part D prescription plan?

Although you are not required by law to carry a Part D prescription plan I certainly recommend it. If you do not take a Part D plan when you are first eligible and you want to get a plan later, you will have to wait for an enrollment period at the end of the year. In addition you will be charged a 1% penalty for each month you did not have a Part D plan but were eligible for one. This penalty is a lifetime penalty. 

What is a Medigap Policy (Medicare Supplement)?

A Medigap policy is private health insurance that helps supplement Original Medicare. This means it helps pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover (like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles). These are “gaps” in Medicare coverage. If you have Original Medicare and a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amounts for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share. All Medigap policies must follow federal and state laws designed to protect you, and policies must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Medigap insurance companies in most states can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy identified by letters A through N. Each standardized Medigap policy must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with the same letter sold by different insurance companies.

 Unlike other Medicare plans such as Medicare Advantage, Medigap supplement policies don’t have a network of hospitals or physicians.

Is Medigap Plan F going away?

Medicare Supplement Plans C, F, and HDF will not be available beginning in 2020 to new Medicare enrollees, or to those turning 65 after December 31, 2019.

If you are already enrolled in Medicare (prior to 1/1/2020)

• Your Medicare Supplement insurance policy will NOT be affected by changes in 2020.

• You will NOT lose your coverage in any Medicare Supplement insurance plan as long as premiums are paid on time.

  • You do NOT have to make any changes to your Medicare Supplement insurance policy

Agents representing other insurance companies may tell you that you will lose your coverage or need to make a change to your existing Medigap coverage, but they are MISREPRESENTING the FACTS. If you feel like you are being misled, you have the right to report this to your state Department of Insurance or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Why is it important to buy a Medigap policy when I’m first eligible?

When you’re first eligible, you have the right to buy any Medigap policy offered in your state. In addition, you generally will get better prices and more choices among policies. It’s very important to understand your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. Medigap insurance companies are generally allowed to use medical underwriting to decide whether to accept your application and how much to charge you for the Medigap policy. However, if you apply during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you can buy any Medigap policy the company sells, even if you have health problems, for the same price as people with good health. If you apply for Medigap coverage after your Open Enrollment Period, there’s no guarantee that an insurance company will sell you a Medigap policy if you don’t meet the medical underwriting requirements.

Can I keep my current Medigap policy switch to a different Medigap policy if I move out-of-state?

In general, you can keep your current Medigap policy regardless of where you live as long as you still have Original Medicare. If you want to switch to a different Medigap policy, you’ll have to check with your current or the new insurance company to see if they’ll offer you a different Medigap policy.

Can my Medigap insurance company drop me?

In most cases the Medigap insurance company can’t drop you because the Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable. This means your insurance company can’t drop you unless one of these happens:

• You stop paying your premium.

• You weren’t truthful on the Medigap policy application.

  • The insurance company becomes bankrupt or insolvent.

If the company becomes bankrupt or insolvent you have a guaranteed issue right to purchase a new Medigap policy with another company without any medical underwriting. 

If you were to stop paying your premium or were not truthful on a Medigap application the company has the right to drop you, if you want to get a Medigap policy again you would have to pass the medical underwriting questions.

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