Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans in Alabama
Medicare Supplement Plans are also known as Medigap.
Medigap helps to cover out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare.
You can’t have Medicare Advantage in Alabama and have a Medigap policy. You can only pair Medigap with Original Medicare.
The best time to enroll in Medigap in Alabama is when you’re first eligible for Medicare.
Alabama Medicare Supplement Plan Coverage
Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama can help you navigate out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare. Examples include co-payments, co-insurances and deductibles.
Also known as Medigap, these plans are uniform across the country. They are labeled as Medigap Plans A through N, although some companies are no longer allowed to sell certain plans. Using letters for the plans can be confusing as Medicare also uses letters to refer to its Parts (like Parts A, B, C or D). Keep in mind that plans (Medigap) and parts (Medicare) are two different things.
Coverage under Medigap in Alabama depends upon what plan type you choose. However, all plans cover Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used.
Other available coverage elements that plans may offer include:
- Medicare Part B coinsurance
- Blood for medical services (first 3 pints)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Part A deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency
Medigap policies cover many out-of-pocket costs, but there is some coverage they don’t offer. This includes long-term care, vision, hearing, eyeglasses or private-duty nursing.
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AL Medigap Plan Costs
Medigap plans can range in costs, based on many factors. These include:
- Your age at the time you apply
- Chronic medical conditions or health habits (such as if you smoke)
- Your location
- The type of Medigap plan you wish to purchase
Insurance companies aren’t required to charge a flat rate for these policies. Therefore, the policy price can fluctuate. However, insurance companies still do have to offer competitive rates. And, if you apply in your open enrollment period — which is a six-month period that begins the month you first are enrolled in Medicare Part B — Medigap companies do have to offer you a policy.
As a general rule, the more expansive the Medigap coverage, the more expensive the policy. That’s why Plan G, which offers the most coverage of the currently available plans, is often the most expensive Medigap plan. There are also high-deductible plans, which don’t cover costs until you have spent a certain amount out of pocket. High-deductible plans tend to have less expensive monthly premiums because you may not need to use them.
Medicare Supplement Plan Eligibility & Enrollment in Alabama
Medigap plans are somewhat unique in the Medicare world in that you can apply to enroll at any time when you are Medicare eligible. However, the best time to apply is going to be when you are first eligible for Medicare in Alabama.
Also known as your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you can apply for a Medigap policy in Alabama the first day of the first month when you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. After this point, you have six months to apply for and purchase a Medigap policy. During this time, insurance companies cannot deny selling you a Medigap policy, even if you have significant health problems (which means your insurance company will likely have higher expenses associated with your policy). This is known as guaranteed-issue rights.
After the Medigap Open Enrollment Period ends, an insurance company can deny issuing you a policy. You also may have to pay more the longer you wait, especially if you have new or chronic health conditions.
It’s possible that you could qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that once again offers you guaranteed issue rights in Alabama. While by no means a comprehensive list, some of these circumstances include:
- Your employer cancels your group health plan.
- You canceled your Medicare Advantage plan within the first 12 months of enrollment.
- You lost your previous Medicare supplement coverage because your insurance company violated its contract with you.
However, you still may not be able to qualify for all Medigap plan types in this Special Enrollment Period.
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Are there Alabama Medicare Supplement Plans With Prescription Drug Coverage?
Currently, Medigap plans don’t offer prescription drug coverage. If you purchased a Medigap policy before January 1, 2006, it may include prescription drug coverage, but you may lose that coverage if you switch plans.
Today, you must purchase Part D coverage in addition to Medigap insurance. Even if you do choose the same insurance company for both policies, you must pay two separate premium payments.
Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage in Alabama
If you have a Medigap policy in Alabama, you cannot have Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans are private health insurance that provides Part A and Part B coverage, as well as some additional benefits. It’s illegal for an insurance company to sell you a Medigap policy if you have Medicare Advantage.
There’s a few reasons this is the case. Medicare Advantage policies have different co-payments than Original Medicare. They also have a deductible, unlike Original Medicare. Therefore, Medigap policies aren’t intended to work with Medicare Advantage plans as they are for Original Medicare.
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Learn More About Medicare
Healthcare is personal. So is choosing insurance. If you are new to Medicare, a beneficiary researching options, or a caregiver, we have tailored Medicare Guides for you.
Before 65 Guide
Understanding health insurance before age 65, especially when considering early retirement
Medicare Plans Guide
Costs, coverage and enrollment details for each Medicare plan
Medicare Beneficiary Guide
For those currently enrolled in Medicare
Low Income and Medicare Guide
For individuals with a qualifying income status
A Caregiver’s Guide
For individuals with a qualifying income status