When you are shopping for a Medigap policy, here are some questions to keep in mind when speaking with insurance representatives:

  • How much does the policy cost per month (what is the premium?) Is this premium based on:
    • my health status? (If it is a time when you have the right to buy a Medigap, companies cannot charge you more because of past or present health problems.)
    • my gender?
    • whether I smoke?
    • whether I am married?
    • anything else?
  • If so, will the company refuse to sell me a Medigap based on my health status?
  • How does the premium increase as I grow older?
    • Is it no-age-rated or community-rated so everyone in my area pays the same premium regardless of their age?
    • Is it issue-age-rated so the premium is based on how old I was when I bought the policy?
    • Is it attained-age-rated so the premium increases based on my age?
  • Do I have to wait before my Medigap will cover pre-existing conditions? If so, how long is the wait for me? (If you have guaranteed issue rights, pre-existing condition exclusions can’t apply. If you are in your open enrollment period, make sure you tell the insurance representative what kind of coverage you have now or have had recently. Depending on the coverage, you may have a reduced wait period or may not have to wait for coverage of pre-existing conditions at all.)
  • When will my coverage under the Medigap begin?

Other considerations

  • If you do not have the right to buy a Medigap, ask the insurance company how much extra you will be charged for purchasing one.
  • If you are under 65, make sure the policy you are considering sells to individuals under 65.
  • Remember to keep track of whom you spoke with, when you spoke with them, and the outcome of the call.