Because of the significant out-of-pocket payments required by traditional Medicare, a booming market of private-sector insurance products has grown up around the government programs. These Medicare-related insurance products are one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. health insurance industry, and they are the part of the market on which a smart consumer should focus his or her attention.
Medicare Providers is here to help seniors, and other Medicare eligible individuals, understand these products and provide tools to assist in the decision making process.
The market for private-sector Medicare-related coverages can be described as including:
- Medicare Supplement plans - sometimes called "Medigap" insurance, though some industry professionals don't like that term - which, to various degrees, help pay for the things traditional Medicare doesn't. Medicare Supplemental Plans are standardized and are identified in most states by letters. Although the plans are standardized (as an example, a plan F will always have the same benefits), insurance carriers can charge different rates for these plans, so it can be helpful to shop around. If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin, Medigap plans are standardized in a different way.
In order to qualify for most Medicare-related plans, you must meet the standard Medicare eligibility requirements and live in the "geographic service area."
If you move out of your geographic service area during a plan's coverage term, you will usually have a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to enroll in another Medicare-related plan approved for sale in your new location or switch to back to traditional Medicare.
The number of Medicare plans available in a given area can be overwhelming. Combine that with the difficulty of finding reliable consumer information in an easy-to-understand format and you have a recipe for confusion. It's more than most people want to know about health insurance. The purpose of this web site is to give you the tools and information to make good decisions.