When you begin a Medigap policy you should have its effective date to coincide with either the fist date your Medicare benefits begin or the first day of the following month after you apply. Most Medigap insurers will automatically begin your benefits on the first day of the following month. Some insurers will offer to start your benefits at a later date, but there is no actual reason to do this. Insurers that cannot provide a positive date that the benefits will start should be avoided.
By law, you are only allowed to have one Medigap policy. This law has been placed into effect as a protection of the consumer. Many less-than-legitimate companies would take advantage of multi-policy programs by creating an abundance of little coverage policies that cost more than they are ever worth. By regulating what can be offered in each Medigap policy and limiting each person to one policy, the option for fraud is removed. The best way to ensure you have the proper Medigap policy for your needs is to carefully review each of the policies. Medigap has been reduced to 10 different plans so the review will not take too long to complete.
There are no laws stating that you must carry Medigap coverage. However, it should be noted that Medicare does not cover everything and this insurance will supplement the differences. Medicare will be undergoing many changes in the next few years as national health care takes effect. During that period it is better to be covered than to go into debt because of high medical bills.