The Best Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans in Nevada
- Nevada Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance helps defray Medicare-related expenses such as copays and deductibles. Review available Medigap plans in Nevada to find the right one for you.
Although Medicare provides comprehensive health care benefits for many U.S. seniors, the balance remaining after reimbursement can still leave beneficiaries with substantial out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare supplement insurance is one way for seniors to defray Medicare-related costs such as copays and deductibles. These plans, which vary in benefits and price, are commonly referred to as Medigap and are available from private insurance companies across the state.
Nevada currently has more than 95,000 Medigap policyholders. That means more than a quarter of Original Medicare enrollees are taking advantage of the supplemental coverage provided by these plans. If you’re thinking about purchasing a policy, this guide breaks down the basics of Nevada Medigap plans so you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs.
You can find Medicare Supplement plans where you live by comparing plans from several different insurance companies online.
What Are the Best Nevada Medicare Supplement Plans?
Nevada Medicare supplement plans are sold by several private insurance companies, so potential policyholders can easily shop around for the best price. Plans are standardized using letter designations, which makes comparison shopping simple and straightforward. Essentially, the coverage available through a plan with a specific letter designation — e.g. Plan N — is the same, regardless of the issuer, making price the main differentiator between insurance companies.
Medigap Benefits by Plan Type
Altogether, there are 10 different Medigap plans available in Nevada, and each of these plans includes an identical foundation of benefits, including coverage for:
- Part A and B coinsurance
- Hospice copays
- 365 days of hospital stays after exhausting Part A benefits
Additional benefits vary by Medigap plan letter, and available coverage may include:
- Part A and/or B deductibles
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Medical treatment obtained while traveling abroad
- Charges for medical treatment that exceed the Part-B-approved amounts
For covered services, Medigap plans typically pay between 50% and 100% of the costs remaining after Medicare reimbursement, but some policies may include limitations or restrictions, and wait times may apply for individuals who have pre-existing conditions. The accompanying chart provides a more detailed breakdown of benefits by plan type.
Medigap Plan Popularity
Medigap plans vary in popularity, but Plans F, G and N top the list in many places. That’s probably because these policies often cost less than other Medigap plans, which can make them appealing to beneficiaries who aren't sure supplemental insurance fits into their budget.
Although this trio of plans provides the same core benefits as other Medigap plans, along with additional coverage such as the Part A deductible, and 80% of the cost of care received while traveling abroad, policyholders may have to deal with higher deductibles. That means that if you purchase one of these three plans, you’ll spend less money initially but must meet your deductible before you get reimbursed for covered services. Plus, because these plans don’t have out-of-pocket limits, seniors who are receiving expensive or recurring treatments may still find medical bills adding up.
If you’re thinking about purchasing one of these popular plans, please note that only beneficiaries who were Medicare eligible prior to 2020 may enroll in Plan F, regardless of who issues it.
Choosing the Best Medigap Plan for You
When choosing the best Medigap plan, you should always consider the following elements:
- The amount and type of coverage
- The cost of premiums
- Applicable deductibles
- Annual out-of-pocket limits
Ultimately, the best Medigap plan is the one that suits your needs and budget. You should also remember that not every insurance company offers the same selection of plans. Although all insurers who offer Medigap plans must sell Plans A, C and F, other plan types are optional, so you may have to shop around for a company that sells the plan you want.
How Do I Enroll in a Nevada Medigap Plan?
Open enrollment for Medigap begins the month you turn 65 and sign up for Medicare Part B or are automatically enrolled in a plan. This six-month open enrollment period is typically considered the best time to purchase Medicare supplement insurance because all eligible applicants are guaranteed a plan regardless of their health. Federal mandates also prohibit insurers from charging higher premiums due to health risks during this formal enrollment period.
If you’re still employed at age 65 and you’re receiving insurance through your employer, a union or COBRA, you may defer Medicare enrollment until you retire. Your Medigap open enrollment period will also be deferred and begin once you enroll in Medicare Part B.
What Happens When the Open Enrollment Period Ends?
The Medigap open enrollment period is the only time Medigap coverage is guaranteed to all applicants at premiums that aren’t determined by the quality of the applicant's health. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t purchase a policy after the enrollment period ends, but it does mean your application will likely be reviewed through a medical underwriting process. For a senior who has an underlying medical condition, that can mean denial of coverage or higher premiums for the policy they choose.
However, there are exceptions, known as guaranteed issue rights. If a guaranteed issue right applies, the federal government ensures a senior’s right to purchase a Medigap plan without risk of denial or a higher premium.
Guaranteed issue rights typically protect beneficiaries who’ve experienced one of the following common situations:
- A switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare: Medicare Advantage enrollees who’ve switched back to Original Medicare after their plan was discontinued or altered its service area may be protected by guaranteed issue rights. These protections also cover MA enrollees who reverted to Original Medicare after moving out of their plan’s service area. Additionally, guaranteed issue rights may cover beneficiaries who reverted to Original Medicare after exercising a trial right for Medicare Advantage.
- The loss of current Medigap insurance: Sometimes, an insurance company that sells Medigap plans goes bankrupt, has misleading policies or doesn’t follow the plan guidelines set by the federal government. If a Medigap policyholder must relinquish their supplemental insurance through no fault of their own, they’re protected under guaranteed issue rights.
- The loss of group coverage from an employer or union: Sometimes, individuals supplement Medicare with group coverage obtained through an employer, a union or COBRA. Loss of this supplemental insurance can lead to a guaranteed issue right.
Other situations that create guaranteed issue rights may apply, so if you think you may be entitled to this federal protection, talk to a representative from the Medigap insurer of your choice.