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Medicare Annual Enrollment is Happening Now! Everything You Need to Know

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The Best Medicare Supplement Insurance for Healthy Seniors

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You might be wondering if a Medigap plan is even necessary for healthy older adults. While you may be in excellent health now (keep up the great work!), your future health care needs must also be considered. This is where Medigap plays an important role, as Medigap plans are meant to fill in the gaps that Medicare Part A and Part B (also known as Original Medicare) doesn’t cover. Essentially, Medigap provides additional coverage for costly medical bills if you become injured or ill. Below, we’ll take a look at our top picks for Medigap plans for healthy seniors.

How We Chose the Best Medigap Providers for Healthy Seniors

We completed an in-depth analysis of 12 of the top Medigap providers using the following criteria: Medigap plans offered; value-added benefits, including health and wellness perks; and insurance company reputation. We also evaluated if the provider website offered easy access to plan availability and pricing.

Popular Medigap Coverage for Healthy Seniors

Medicare has a total of 10 Medigap plans. New enrollees can choose from eight of the 10 standardized Medigap plans: A, B, D, G, K, L, M, and N. As of January 1, 2020, Plans C and F are not available to those newly eligible.

Keep in mind, these standardized plans vary in the amount of gap coverage provided, so it’s vital to compare plan benefits. Deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, copayments, and coinsurance are not the same across the board. Below is a look at some of the most popular Medigap plans for healthy older adults and the types of seniors we’d recommend them for.

Healthy Seniors Who Want Basic Coverage With Low Premiums

Healthy older adults without chronic medical conditions or who will rarely use their Medicare benefits may not want to pay for benefits they don’t need. Plans with higher deductibles, such as Plan K and High-Deductible Plan G, offer lower premiums than most other supplement plans. It’s important to remember, should your health condition change and you require services, unexpected out-of-pocket expenses can wreak havoc on your wallet.

Active Seniors Who Love to Travel Internationally

Is traveling abroad on your post-retirement bucket list? Without the proper Medigap plan, experiencing a medical emergency while out of the country can be costly. Explore Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M, or N as these six plans include 80 percent coverage of qualifying foreign travel emergency care costs.

From the Pros: Curious about the cost of Medigap insurance? Our guide to Medicare Supplement Insurance has the crucial facts.

Seniors Who Want Comprehensive Coverage Without Paying Full Price

Many healthy seniors want the peace of mind that comes from having a comprehensive Medigap plan. Medigap Plan N offers similar coverage to higher-premium Plan G. However, Plan N comes in at a lower cost, as you’ll be responsible for some office and emergency room visits ($20 and $50 copays, respectively).

How Do I Buy Medigap Insurance?

Medigap insurance is sold through private insurance companies such as the ones we detailed above, along with numerous others, including Aetna, Colonial Penn, and Humana. Buying Medigap insurance is like purchasing auto or home insurance; you want to shop around and obtain at least three quotes from providers.

Did You Know: If you’re a Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin resident, your state offers different standardized Medigap plans. Enter your ZIP code into the Medicare.gov website to explore the policies offered in your state.

While Medigap plan options vary from state to state, the plan coverage is standardized. This means each Medigap plan remains the same no matter which health insurance company you decide to enroll with. For example, Plan N from Blue Cross Blue Shield has exactly the same coverage as Plan N with UnitedHealthcare.

Once you’ve decided on the best Medigap plan for your needs and thoroughly compared quotes, purchasing a plan is fairly simple. You can enroll online with most insurance companies, as well as over the phone or via a mail-in application.

When Should I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan?

The ideal time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during your six-month open enrollment period. Open enrollment automatically begins the month you turn 65 and have enrolled in Medicare. During this six-month period, health care companies are federally required to provide Medigap plans with “no questions asked.” You cannot be denied a policy or charged a higher rate due to preexisting health conditions.

Plan options and pricing premiums are best during your six-month Medigap open enrollment. Keep in mind, while you can enroll in your state’s Medigap benefits at any time, after this six-month period, you may not be able to buy a policy. If you can buy one, it may cost more due to past or present health problems.4

Five Ways Older Adults Can Stay Healthy

Choosing the right health insurance is just one part of staying on top of your health as you age. Taking care of our bodies and minds should be a top priority on our to-do list. As we age, maintaining a healthy lifestyle ensures we can fully enjoy our hard-earned years of retirement.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends older adults get moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, 30 minutes a day, five days a week. They also recommend muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days each week that work your major muscle groups, including your legs, hips, back, and arms.5

Boost your quality of life by including these actions into your daily routine:

  1. Move your body. Getting in a daily dose of exercise helps older adults reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, memory loss, and some cancers.6 Physical activity is a fantastic mood energizer, releasing endorphins to relieve stress, combat depression, and help you sleep soundly.
  2. Boost your brain. Along with your body, your brain needs routine exercise! Keeping your mind sharp with mentally stimulating activities helps prevent cognitive impairment. Brain games such as playing chess, video games, and memory games keep your mind engaged and activated.
  3. Eat smart. As you grow older, your metabolism (how your body gets energy from food) can slow down, and your body composition (the amount of fat and muscle) may be different from when you were younger. Fuel your body with nutrient-rich fruits, veggies, and lean proteins.
  4. Embrace a hobby. Whether you’re tending to your garden, teaming up with a tennis partner, or working on your latest quilt, hobbies are an important part of self-care. Consider what you’re passionate about or interested in exploring, and go for it!
  5. Build strength and balance. As we age, our muscles lose elasticity. Keeping balance is an important part of fall prevention. Millions of people aged 65 and older fall each year. In fact, more than one out of four older people fall annually.7 Fall prevention and educating yourself on fall safety tips can protect you in the future.
Written By

Maureen Stanley

Writer & Editor

Maureen joined SeniorLiving.org with more than 10 years of experience writing in health, lifestyle, and nutrition for premium brands like General Mills, Westinghouse, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Her passion for empowering older adults is evident in coverage of topics like retirement, health… Learn More About Maureen Stanley

Citations
  1. Blue Cross Blue Shield. (2012). Health insurance from invention to innovation: A history of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

  2. Cigna. (2021). Company Profile.

  3. AARP. (2021). Plan Comparison Guide.

  4. Medicare.gov. (2021). When can I buy Medigap?

  5. Health.gov. (2021). Physical activity is just what the doctor ordered.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Physical Activity Prevents Chronic Disease.

  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Important Facts about Falls.