What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) is a private health insurance policy that helps cover some of the costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medigap plans are sold by private companies and differ in the benefits they provide and their costs. Each plan typically has different premiums, deductibles, and benefit structures, so it's important to research to find out which best fits your needs.
What Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cover?
Each Medicare Supplement Insurance plan covers different costs, so you should carefully review the details of each plan to ensure it covers what you need.
Generally, Medicare Supplement insurance helps cover the following:
- Part A hospital coinsurance
- Part B medical expenses
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductibles
- Specific plans may cover Part B excess charges
What Is Not Covered?
It's important to note that Medicare Supplement plans do not include prescription drug coverage. Instead, you must enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to get this kind of coverage.
Medicare Supplement plans also do not pay for:
- Long-term care
- Vision or dental care
- Hearing aids or eyeglasses
- Private duty nursing
- Custodial care in a nursing home
- Services like acupuncture or chiropractic treatments
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible, you must be enrolled in Part A and Part B of Original Medicare. You can apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance at any time during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which begins three months before the month you turn 65; includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
However, if you delay enrolling in Medicare Supplement Insurance beyond your IEP, you may be subject to medical underwriting or denied coverage, depending on your health status.
How Much Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cost?
Premiums for Medicare Supplement Insurance can range from $50 to more than $200 per month. The cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance varies depending on your plan, the insurer, where you live, and age. Shop around and compare prices and coverage options to find the Medicare Supplement policy that best meets your needs. Some insurers may offer discounts or incentives such as lower premiums if you enroll in an auto-pay program or pay your premium annually rather than monthly.
Do I Need Medicare Supplement Insurance?
If you lack the supplemental medical coverage available through an employer or public program like Medicaid, it's beneficial for you to consider a Medicare Supplement plan. Doing so will help reduce your risk of hefty out-of-pocket expenses down the line.
Original Medicare leaves a gaping hole in coverage, with no cap on out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. These fees can be exorbitant if your long-term medical condition or you have to stay in the hospital for an extended period.
Fortunately, by supplementing Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement plan, these costs will be significantly reduced - allowing you to manage your medical bills easier.
Medicare Supplement Plan Options
Ten types of Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are available in most states: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each plan has different levels of coverage (deductibles and coinsurance), so be sure to look into the details of each plan to determine which is best for your needs.
Plan F and Plan G are two of the most comprehensive plans available. These plans cover deductibles, copays, and coinsurance left by Original Medicare. However, if you're looking for a more affordable option, Medigap Plan N may be a better choice. Plan N provides coverage for many of the same benefits as Plans F and G but at slightly lower premiums.
Ready to Learn More?
Our mission is to inform consumers of their options and help them navigate the plan selection process. We are proud to work with some of America’s highest-rated insurance providers. Check out our list of The 10 Best Medigap Insurance Carriers or take a closer look by studying our comprehensive Medigap Comparison Chart for even more details. To learn more about Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans, you can request a personalized Medicare Supplement Plan Quote from us today.
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