Adding a Medicare Supplement Plan (also known as Medigap) to your Original Medicare coverage can really make a difference for your bank account. If you struggle to meet your annual deductible, make copayments, pay coinsurance, or afford other out-of-pocket expenses, a Medigap plan can help. So, what can you do to choose the right Medigap plan in 2021?

The Medicare Supplement Free Look Period

Unfortunately, most people are completely unaware of the Medicare Supplement Free Look Period. This period applies to people in a few different situations. If you already have a Medigap plan but want to try out a new one, the Free Look Period lets you do it. Additionally, if you don’t have a Medigap plan but would like to try one without making a firm commitment, the Free Look Period gives you some wiggle room as well. In essence, the Free Look Period is just a 30-day period that starts as soon as you enroll in a new Medigap plan. It allows you to try out the new Medigap plan before making a firm decision. If you don’t like the plan, you can switch to a new one.

If you have an existing plan and want to try out a second one, you will need to pay both premiums during the Free Look Period. You will also need to inform your current Medigap provider that you wish to change plans. You can then enroll in a new plan on a trial basis. If you like it, you just need to drop your old plan. If you don’t like it, you can drop the new one and stick with your existing plan.

Know When to Apply for a Medigap Plan

For most people, the best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan is during the Open Enrollment Period. This starts the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. The Open Enrollment Period will last for six months, giving you plenty of time to shop around for the right Medigap plan.

Even if you miss the Open Enrollment Period, you can still get supplemental insurance. You can sign up for Medigap with a Guaranteed Issue Right. You usually qualify for a Guaranteed Issue Right when your existing healthcare changes. For example, if you move, your healthcare plan may not cover providers in your area, which would require you to switch plans or get additional coverage.

Evaluate Medigap Plans Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Even if you have Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and prescription drug coverage (Part D), you will still incur plenty of out-of-pocket expenses. However, everyone’s medical needs are different. You may have a condition that requires you to spend thousands of dollars every year on prescription drugs, while someone else may have to pay out-of-pocket costs for vision and hearing care.

In any case, you will need to evaluate what you pay now to find the right Medicare Supplement plan for you. You’ll also need to anticipate possible costs in 2021. You may not pay much out-of-pocket now, but that could quickly change as time goes on.

Seek Professional Advice about Medigap Plans

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While most people don’t have to worry about signing up or shopping around for Original Medicare, Medigap requires a little more effort. This can make the shopping process intimidating for Medicare beneficiaries who are unfamiliar with the process. Fortunately, you can find a wealth of information from Medigare.gov and by contacting our licensed agents here at Time for 65.

If you’d like to learn more about choosing a Medigap plan in 2021, feel free to fill out the form or give us a call anytime. Our licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.