More commonly known as Medigap, Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in Hawaii help pay your costs for a variety of services covered by Original Medicare, including Part A coinsurance, Part B coinsurance, and hospice care. This page explains how Medigap works and who qualifies.
What Is Medigap in Hawaii?
Hawaiian Medigap plans are offered by private insurance companies. The plans themselves are standardized, meaning Plan A (or B, D, etc.) always has the same benefits, no matter which insurer you choose. Costs, however, vary, since each insurance company sets its own rates.
Nationwide, around one-third of Original Medicare beneficiaries join a Medigap plan. This is because, unlike Medicare Advantage plans, there is no out-of-pocket limit with Original Medicare. This could leave you with significant healthcare costs.
Who Qualifies for Medicare Supplement Insurance in Hawaii?
You qualify for Medicare Supplement Insurance in Hawaii if you are enrolled in Original Medicare and age 65 or older. In addition, Hawaiian law guarantees the same Medigap protections to people under age 65 who qualify for Medicare due to a disability.
What Does Medigap Cover?
Medigap coverage varies according to which plan you choose. At a minimum, all Supplement plans pay for Part A coinsurance and give you an additional 365 lifetime reserve days for hospital care.
You can only use your Medigap plan to help pay for services provided by Original Medicare. This includes Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance. It does not include prescription drug coverage. This is available with either a standalone Medicare Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MA-PD).
Only Original Medicare enrollees may join a Medigap plan. You cannot have both an Advantage plan and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Medigap Plan C and Medigap Plan F in Hawaii
Two Supplement plans – Medigap Plan C and Medigap Plan F – cover 100 percent of the Medicare Part B deductible. As of January 1, 2020, however, federal law prohibits this coverage. If you became eligible for Medicare after that date, you cannot sign up for Plan C or Plan F.
We recommend Medigap Plan D and Medigap Plan G (in place of Plans C and F, respectively). You get the same coverage, minus the Part B deductible, and almost always wind up with a lower out-of-pocket cost overall.
When Is the Best Time to Join a Medicare Supplement Plan in Hawaii?
To avoid medical underwriting, you should sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). It starts the day you are both enrolled in Original Medicare and age 65 or older.
During your OEP, you cannot be denied a Medigap plan or charged more for coverage – even if you have preexisting medical conditions. If you do not have a guaranteed issue right, your application goes through medical underwriting, a process insurance companies use to determine whether to sell you a policy and how much to charge for it.
Under-65 Hawaiians with disabilities also have the same guaranteed issue rights during their 6-month Open Enrollment window, including not having to pay higher premiums for the same coverage.
How to Choose a Medigap Plan in Hawaii
When deciding how much coverage you need, be sure to consider future healthcare needs as well. Remember, unless you qualify for guaranteed issue rights, your Medigap application goes through medical underwriting. If you wait until you're sick to seek more comprehensive coverage, you could be denied a policy altogether – or charged more for it.
Once you decide which plan you want, it's time to look at costs. Although benefits are standardized, Medigap premiums vary according to the provider, so compare costs carefully. Pricing methods include:
- Issue-age rated: Premiums are based on your age at the time you join the plan, not your age throughout the life of the policy. They may rise over time due to inflation, though.
- Community rated: Also known as no-age rated, these plans charge the same premium regardless of age. Over time, these are usually the cheapest Medigap plans.
- Attained-age rated: Premiums start out low but go up as you age. These policies are usually the most expensive option over time.
Our Find a Plan tool makes it easy to compare Medigap plans in Hawaii. Simply enter your location information and coverage start date to review Medicare plan options in your area.
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