What Do Residents of Washington Need to Know About Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans?
Washington State is home to the longest floating bridge, the Gov. Albert D. Rosellini Bridge. By connecting the “gap” over Lake Washington, its residents can move freely between Medina and Seattle. Understanding how to navigate “gaps” in Medicare coverage is also something important that Washington residents age 65 or older need to consider. Medicare Parts A and B provide insurance for hospital and doctor visits, but there are “gaps” in coverage which include things like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can help to bridge some of the “gaps” for what is left uncovered by Medicare Parts A and B. Also called Medigap, a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan are available from private insurance companies throughout Washington.
As of 2020, Medicare Supplement Insurance plans will no longer sell Medigap Plans C or F to newly eligible Medicare members. Congress has decided that new Medigap plans will no longer be allowed to cover the Part B deductible after January 1, 2020. This will only affect Medicare Supplement Plans C and F as these are the only Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible. Anyone enrolled in a Medigap Plan C or F as of December 31, 2019, will be grandfathered and will be able to continue to use their plan as long as they want.
Washington residents looking for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan need to first look at their specific coverage needs to determine what Medigap plan they might want to consider.
Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington
The government-approved Medicare Supplement Insurance plans help protect consumers in most states, including Washington. The statistics below offer a look at the most popular Medigap plans selected by Washington residents. The insurance companies that sell Medigap plans offer the same basic benefits, but those plans may come at different prices depending on where you live and the insurance carrier. In addition, each insurer in Washington may not offer each of the available Medigap plans.
As reported by AHIP, 309,633 Washington beneficiaries enrolled in a Medigap policy in 2019. Below is the breakdown of the number of Washington enrollees by Medigap plan type.
Source: AHIP. Reflects data through December, 2019.
Source: AHIP. Reflects data through December, 2019.
While a Medigap policy will help pay for things like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, it is important to note that your Washington Medicare Supplement Insurance plan does not include benefits for prescription drugs. However, you can buy an additional Medicare Prescription Drug plan to cover prescription drug costs. Or you may want to consider a Washington Medicare Advantage plan, which typically includes prescription drug coverage and may also include other benefits such as dental, vision, hearing and gym memberships.
You can learn more about your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan options in Washington by working with a SelectQuote licensed sales agent. Acting as your advocate, our licensed sales agents can guide you through the Medicare maze to better understand your Medicare plan options and answer whatever questions you might have throughout the process. SelectQuote individually shops more than 20 national insurance companies to help you compare Medicare plans in Washington.
Washington residents cannot be enrolled in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time. A Medigap plan can’t be used to pay for any expenses for a Medicare Advantage plan.
Washington Medicare Supplement Plan Enrollment Period
Initial enrollment timeframes are very important. Enrollment for Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in Washington begins the first day of the month you turn 65 years old. There are some special cases for enrollment prior to age 65. You also must be enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B in order to get a Medigap plan.
Washington residents have a six-month period surrounding their birth month to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. Washington residents under the age of 65 can check with the Social Security Administration office for additional enrollment periods.
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is during the initial 6 months you are eligible for Medicare. Time is of the essence as you can enroll at age 64 and 6 months. During this important six-month period, companies that offer Medicare Supplement Insurance plans cannot use underwriting. In other words, during this window of time your acceptance is guaranteed. However, if you apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance outside of this 6-month timeframe, you will be subject to a physical exam. If you apply for Medigap coverage after the first six months of eligibility, a company can refuse to sell you a plan or premiums may also adjust depending on current health status and pre-existing health conditions.
Is a Washington Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Right for You?
In order to learn more about your Medicare plan options, talk to a Medicare Insurance specialist at SelectQuote. We can help to ensure you’re getting all of the available Medicare benefits you deserve. In addition, a SelectQuote licensed sales agent can inform you about the annual updates that are made to Medicare plans by insurance companies. As an independent trusted third-party company, SelectQuote is here to help you explore Medicare insurance options to find the right Medicare Supplement Plan to meet your needs.
To ensure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to receive, call or complete your online form today. Let SelectQuote’s personal licensed sales agents simplify the Medicare maze by comparing rates and independently shopping insurance companies to help you find an affordable option that meets your unique needs.