Medicare FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap insurance), Medicare Advantage plans, Prescription Drug Plans and more.

What types of Medigap policies are available through insurance companies?

If you have Medicare parts A & B a Medigap insurance company cannot refuse to offer you a policy, even if you have a pre-existing medical condition. You have a GUARANTEED RIGHT to buy a policy during your open enrollment period and other times depending on certain events.

You can buy a Medigap policy at any time, but unless you apply during your GUARANTEED ENROLLMENT times, the insurance company may refuse to issue a policy based on your health. 

It is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a Medigap policy if you do not have both parts A & B of Medicare, or if you have Medicaid, or if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as Medicare part C).

How does a Medigap policy work?

You must have Medicare part A and B before you are eligible to buy a Medigap policy.

You will be required to pay a monthly premium to the insurance company for your Medigap policy. This is in addition to your monthly Medicare part B premium

You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that is licensed to conduct business in your state.

All standardized Medigap policies are GUARANTEED RENEWABLE. If you develop health problems after your policy is issued the insurance company cannot cancel your plan as long as  you continue paying your premiums.

For more information about Medigap plans, refer to our Medicare Supplement section.

Do I need a prescription drug plan?

Medigap policies do not include a prescription drug benefit. If you want prescription drug coverage you may want to talk to Medicare about prescription drug plans.

Many people will not need a prescription drug plan. Many times it is less expensive to pay for your medication out of pocket, or use mail order firms like Blue Sky Drugs or Isra Meds. There are also many programs available to provide medications for little or no charge. 

Check out resources such as Needy Meds and Rx Hope in our PRESCRIPTION DRUG RESOURCE section.

Medicare may be able to answer your questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

 

Medicare.gov is a source for answers to questions about Medicare.

Another source for answers is CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).