Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans available in Alabama and most other states, are designed to fill in the gaps in Original Medicare Part A and Part B that are the result of deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
These plans are only available through private insurance companies and are available to cover most healthcare expenses that are being paid out-of-pocket by a Medicare beneficiary.
See our Medicare Supplement Guide for information on entering into Medicare.
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How Medicare Supplement Plans Work in Alabama
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans work alongside Original Medicare and are not stand-alone health insurance policies. All the coverages in a Medicare Supplement plan are the same from one company to another but differ according to price and extra coverages they might offer.
In 47 states, there are 10 standardized Medigap plans offered, designated by a letter. In three states, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, the plans are designated differently.
You can buy a Medigap plan during your Open Enrollment Period. This starts on the first day of the month you turn 65 or start part B and lasts for 6 months.
During your Open Enrollment Period, you will have guaranteed issue rights, this means they must issue you a policy. The company cannot increase your rates or decline coverage because of any pre-existing health issues.
If you miss your Open Enrollment Period, they can use medical underwriting to increase your rates or deny coverage. Unless you qualify under a guaranteed issue right.
Although Alabama Medicare Supplement plans cover many out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, they do not provide coverage for prescription drugs.
To get help with the cost of prescription drugs ordered outside of the hospital, you will need to buy a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan. They are available through private insurance companies..
How To Enroll in A Medicare Supplement Plan in Alabama
The best time to apply for an Alabama Medigap plan is during your open enrollment period when you have guaranteed issue rights.
Before you enroll in a Medigap plan, you should first consider if you need one. Then consider which plan would benefit you the most according to health circumstances and budget.
You may want to consider the following:
- Do you visit your physician often because of various health issues you’re dealing with? If so, most Medigap plans will cover 100% of your Part B coinsurance.
- Do you expect the need for inpatient care at a hospital or skilled nursing facility? In this case, most Medicare Supplement plans will cover 100% of your Part A (hospital) deductible and 100% of your Part A coinsurance.
- Do you on occasion, visit with a medical professional out of state? A Medicare Supplement plan provides coverage anywhere in the country as long as your provider accepts Medicare.
- Most Medigap policies will cover emergency care while traveling abroad.
Many insurance agents work for insurance companies that sell Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans. Shopping with these captive agents can take a lot of time to get rates to compare.
The best method for shopping Alabama Medicare Supplement plans is to contact an independent insurance agency. One that specializes in Medicare-related insurance products and represents many of the highest-rated insurance companies.
As an independent, your agent is not employed by the insurance company and can shop your coverage with all the companies he or she represents.
Independent brokers like My Medicare Supplement Plans are dedicated to finding the best solution to meet your individual needs and budget.
Types of Plans
Currently, there are 10 types of Medicare Supplement plans available to residents of Alabama. Each plan is assigned a letter identifier, and each provides different coverage levels than the other.
Since Medicare Supplement plan coverages are overseen by Medicare, the plans are standardized so that Plan C from one company is the same as Plan C from another.
The difference between the various companies is pricing, extra coverages, and how they rate your policy.
The Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans being sold in Alabama are:
* Original Medicare no longer allows a Medigap Plan to cover the Part B deductible. Plan C and Plan F can only be sold to individuals who were first eligible for Original Medicare before January 1, 2020.
**Plans K and L are the only plans that contain an out-of-pocket expense limit.
How to Choose a Suitable Plan
The best way to choose a Medicare Supplement plan is to consider four very important things:
- Your health and the frequency that you have to visit a medical professional.
- How much are you willing to pay out-of-pocket every year?
- How much are you willing to pay to transfer your healthcare costs to an insurance company?
- What is your budget for Medigap premiums (you will continue to pay your Medicare Part B premiums as well)?
Once you have answered the above-listed questions, it is time to contact an experienced and reputable independent insurance professional.
- You need to discuss which plan will best meet your needs.
- Who offers the plan that is right for you.
- A plan with a rate you can afford.
- Which company has the most stable rate increases
There is a safety valve that comes with every Medicare Supplement plan called the free-look period. During that time, if you decide the policy you purchased does not meet your needs, you can return the policy for a full refund.
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