Though many people erroneously believe that a Medicare health plan fully pays for all covered services, the reality is that there are many services and healthcare providers whose services do not fall under the Medicare umbrella. Fortunately, 47 US states offer some form of Medicare supplement, and Pennsylvania is no exception. If you’re a Pennsylvania resident looking for a plan that will cover the expenses associated with Medicare such as copays and deductibles, or you’re in need of services not covered by Medicare, supplemental insurance policies such as Medigap or Medicare Advantage may provide just the coverage you’re looking for.
Available since 1990, Medigap is a Medicare supplement that is available to everyone eligible for Medicare. In other words, applicants for Medigap cannot be denied based upon pre-existing conditions, age or other factors. Medigap does not cover services or providers not covered by Medicare, but Pennsylvania residents can choose different levels of Medigap coverage based on the level of Medicare coverage that they have. Specifically, if you have Medicare plans A, B, C and F, you can choose a Medigap policy that correlates with your Medicare policy. In Pennsylvania, as in all states that offer Medigap, all Medigap policies (at each level) are identical in their coverage, but are not identical in price. Consequently, consumers who are financially-conscious should make an effort to shop around in search of the best price on Medigap in their area. To compare plans and rates in your area, fill out the zip code form to view prices instantly.
Anyone interested in a Medigap policy can enroll within 6 months of turning 65. At this time, Medigap providers cannot deny applicant or impose a 6 month waiting period. It’s necessary to know, however, that some providers may impose such a waiting period for applicants who apply after the initial open registration. Equally useful to know is that registration after the initial enrollment period is available only for a few weeks per year as stipulated by federal law. In recent years enrollment was available between October 15 and December 7 for plans beginning on January 1 of the following year. Medigap registrants who are not satisfied with their plan for any reason can return the policy within 30 days of receipt and can receive a full refund.
Unlike Medigap which offers uniform policies for all registrants, Medicare Advantage offers a range of different policies and healthcare coverage depending on the policy selected. In 2012 there are 26 Medicare Advantage providers in the state of Pennsylvania, and the average ranking of the plans is a 3.75 out of a total 5 stars available. Of equal importance is that more than 50% of Medicare Advantage users in Pennsylvania opt for plans with a ranking of 4 stars or higher. Though this alone is not reason enough to choose a specific plan, it’s always a good idea to consider those that rank highly and what services they provide that make them eligible for such a reputation. To compare lenders and their plans’ ratings instantly, fill out the zip code form.
Medicare Advantage plans cover a range of services and healthcare providers, depending on the plan. Coverage may include dental care, vision care and prescriptions, none of which are covered by Medigap. Enrollment for Medicare Advantage follows the same stipulations imposed upon Medigap registration, such that it can be selected during the Medicare open enrollment section, or for a few weeks in the late fall. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider not only what your current needs are but what your future needs will be, before choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. Likewise, Medicare Advantage plans may be more expensive for those with specific health conditions or older enrollees, and this is also something to consider when making your initial decisions about Medicare. If you’re nearing age 65 or reconsidering your options, there’s never been a better time to enroll in Medigap or Medicare Advantage. Fill out the zip code form to compare plans and prices instantly.
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