Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement plans (also called Medigap plans) are types of health insurance you may purchase to fill gaps in your original Medicare Part A and B.

Medigap plans pay for all or part of your copayments, deductibles, and other charges Medicare may not cover.

Insurance companies can only sell you one of 10 different “standardized” Medigap policies identified by letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, F, M, and N.

Each policy with the same letter code must offer the same benefits, no matter which insurance company provides the policy. Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies.

That is why it is so important to get the best price on your Medigap coverage.

Example:

Mary is a 68 year old non-smoker. She is interested in a Plan F Medicare Supplement. We collected quotes from several different insurance providers. The range in the monthly premiums charged by these companies is alarming:

Company 1: $187      Company 2: $272      Company 3: $149

Three companies offering the SAME insurance policy for very different prices… Which would you choose?

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan

The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period begins on the first day of the month in which you are both 65 years of age (or older) and you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. This period lasts 6 months.

This 6 month period is the best time to purchase your Medicare Supplement because an insurance company cannot turn you down… apply any conditions… or charge more due to a health problem.

Insurance companies can apply a waiting period to your Medigap Policy for pre-existing conditions, but that can be eliminated or shortened if you have had prior credible coverage before enrolling in Medicare part B, either through an employer or with an individual plan you purchased for yourself.

A Closer Look at the Medicare Supplement Plans

See the chart below. If a check mark appears in the column, this means that the Medigap policy covers that benefit up to 100% of the Medicare-approved amount. If a column lists a percentage, this means the Medigap policy covers that benefit at that percentage rate of the Medicare-approved amount. If no percentage appears or if the column is blank, this means the Medigap policy does not cover that benefit. Note: The coverage of Part A and B coinsurance only begins after the deductible has been satisfied (unless you choose a plan that also covers the deductibles).

All Medigap Plans Offer These 4 Basic Benefits:

  • Part A Coinsurance for inpatient hospital days 61-90 ($329 per day) and days 91-150 ($658 per day), accumulated over your lifetime.
  • Payment in full for 365 additional hospital days, accumulated over your lifetime.
  • 20% Part B coinsurance for physician visits and other Medicare Part B services.
  • Blood services – first 3 pints.

Depending on which one you choose, your Medigap Plan may also cover these costs: (amounts listed are for 2017)

  • Medicare Part A Hospital Deductible of $1,316.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Coinsurance of $164.50 a day for days 21-100 in a Skilled Nursing Facility. You are responsible for all charges after day 100.
  • Medicare Part B Yearly Deductible of $183
  • Medicare Part B Excess Charges. These occur when your doctor charges more for a service than Medicare’s approved rate. Doctors have the ability to charge up to 15% more as an “excess charge”. Unless your Medigap plan covers these, you are responsible for paying these fees.
  • Foreign Travel Emergency Care during the first 60 days of your travel, your plan may cover at 80% after you pay a $250 deductible. The lifetime maximum foreign travel benefit is $50,000.
  • Of all the Medigap plans, only Plan F includes all of the available benefits.

Which plan is right for you? Call Hardin Insurance today at 800-866-8950 or Get a Medicare supplement insurance quote online instantly.

>>>Next: What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?