Although Medicare plan covers many health care costs, you still need a supplement to pay for the services that Medicare does not cover. Medigap plan is a California Medicare supplement insurance policy sold by private insurers that covers the “gaps” in health coverage provided by Medicare for its beneficiaries.
Who Can Buy California Medigap?
Generally, you must be enrolled in the original Medicare plans Parts A and B before you can purchase a California Medigap insurance plan. Other health insurance coverage such as Medicare Advantage, other Medicare health plan, Medicaid, or employer-provided health insurance, do not work with Medicare supplement.
Standardized Policies for Medigap Plans
Standardized California Medigap plans are available as California Medicare supplement. Under federal regulations, private insurers can only sell standardized California Medigap insurance plans. As Medicare supplement, these standardized insurance plans A to N provide certain benefits.
Factors in Choosing California Medicare Supplement
You need to consider two primary factors when choosing a Medigap insurance plan
- Essential health benefits you need
- Affordability of the insurance plan you will apply to
However, policy costs can differ depending on the following:
- Discounts: Some insurers in California offer discounts to those with spouses or domestic partner (assuming both are enrolled), non-smokers, or those who have a very good health.
- Medical underwriting: An insurance company in California may require you to fill out a detailed questionnaire on your health. The information you provide is used to determine whether or not a certain policy will be issued, or what premium to charge.
- Pre-existing conditions: If you have a pre-existing health condition before you apply for a Medigap insurance plan, you may have to wait for six months before that problem is covered.
- Medicare SELECT: Usually Medicare supplements are expensive. Medicare SELECT insurance plan, which covers certain health providers instead of health services, costs less than regular supplement plans.
- Guaranteed renewable: Medigap insurance plan issued after 1992 in California are generally guaranteed renewable. This means that as long as you pay the premiums, are honest about health issues, and the insurance company doesn’t go bankrupt, the insurer cannot drop your coverage.