If you’re a Georgia resident using Medicare health coverage, you’ve probably noticed that the service only covers up to 80% of your bills for covered services, and that some health-related services are not covered at all. You are likely looking for a way to lower your healthcare costs or to improve your coverage without overpaying. Fortunately, two plans have been created to directly address challenges: Medigap insurance and Medicare Advantage. In order to determine which of these plans will best suit your needs, it’s important to understand what each plan offers within the state of Georgia.
As its name suggests, Medigap is a supplemental healthcare policy that fills in the gaps to pay for many of the costs that are not generally covered by Medicare. Sold by private insurance companies, Medigap insurance covers standard expenses such as copays and deductibles. In Georgia, all available Medigap policies are identical in coverage; the only difference between the policies is the price.
Medigap insurance in Georgia is available to anyone who has Medicare Part A and Part B coverage; though policies for people under age 65 may be limited in scope. The ideal time to purchase this coverage is within 6 months of turning 65, after which you may have a harder time finding a company willing to offer you Medigap coverage.
It is important to understand that anyone with an existing Medicare Advantage healthcare plan is not eligible for Medigap coverage in the state of Georgia, and that anyone with a Medigap plan who opts to purchase Medicare Advantage coverage cannot use their Medigap plan for the expenses related to their new healthcare plan.
Finally, it is helpful to understand that Georgia’s Medigap plans do not cover long-term care, private nursing, hearing aids, eyeglasses, vision, or dental care.
In contrast to Medigap insurance which pays only parts of the healthcare costs not covered under the traditional Medicare umbrella, Georgia Medicare Advantage provides its clients not only with additional health coverage, but with a wider network of healthcare providers than what is typically provided by the Medicare system. Medicare Advantage is available to anyone who is covered by Medicare Parts A and B, except for those who are suffering from end stage renal disease.
Unlike Medigap which has a limited enrollment period, Georgia residents are eligible to enroll for Medicare Advantage at specific times each year. Anyone who is within 3 months of turning 65 and is already in the process of enrolling for Medicare can opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. Those who do not take advantage of this initial enrollment period can join in the first quarter of any year that they maintain their Medicare Parts A and B coverage. Anyone wishing to join a Medicare Advantage plan that covers prescriptions must have Medicare Part D (prescription) coverage before making this request. Registration for anyone who recently received Medicare Part D coverage and wants to enroll in a Medicare Advantage prescription plan can do so between October 15 and December 7 of the same year.
Medicare Advantage plans also differ from Medigap plans in that each plan provides different coverage at a different price. Some plans, for example, offer dental coverage and hearing exams, while others do not. Consequently, consumers should carefully consider what type of coverage they need (or may need in the future) and whether they are willing to pay extra for additional coverage.
Although it may be difficult to predict exactly what type of healthcare you will need in the future, it is always a good idea to get the best coverage you can afford to keep your options open in case of an emergency. Fill out the zip code form to get an instant quote and compare plans available in Georgia.
Downtown Bellevue, just off I-405