Medicare Supplements (Medigap plans)
Medicare itself does not cover all your medical costs. Medicare Supplements (also called Medigap plans) are offered by private insurance companies and help cover the costs associated with Medicare, like deductibles, co-insurances, and copays. There are 10 different levels of Medicare Supplement plans (see chart above) and each level of coverage is represented by a plan letter (A-N).
Below is a list of basic benefits that a Medicare Supplement can cover depending on the plan you chose. These are expenses that Medicare itself does not cover, and you would normally pay out of your pocket if you did not buy; a Medicare Supplement.
1. Part A: Hospital coinsurance (plus costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits end)
2. Part A: Hospice care coinsurance or copay
3. Part B: Coinsurance or copay
4. Medicare preventive care Part B coinsurance
5. Parts A & B: Blood (first 3 pints)
6. Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
7. Part A deductible: $1,364
8. Part B deductible: $185
9. Part B excess charges
10. Foreign travel emergency (lifetime limit of $50,000): 80%
11. Out-of-pocket yearly limit (Max-out-of-Pocket)
Several different insurance companies offer each of the 10 plan letters (levels of coverage) and a the monthly premium can vary dramatically from company to company. When shopping for a Medicare Supplement, it’s important to know that each plan letter (level of coverage) is standardized. The government tells the insurance companies how they will cover you within a given plan letter. For example, if you chose to buy a Plan F from Company X, you would find it is the exact same coverage you would get from Company Y. The only difference you may find, from company to company, is price and customer service. Choose the level of coverage you want, and find the company offering that plan letter at the lowest cost.
For free help sorting through your Medicare Supplement options, call (509) 670-2566.
The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement is when you are turning 65.
- Open Enrollment: The 6-month period beginning the month you become eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B.
- Monthly-changeable: If you already have a Medicare Supplement, you can change your level of coverage or company any time throughout the year. In this case, your policy would be effective on the 1st of the next month.
Benefits of Medicare Supplements
- No provider network and referrals are not required (you can see any provider who accepts Medicare)
- You can change your level of coverage and/or insurance company any month of the year
- Help cover costs like: Copays, co-insurances, deductibles and they can provide you with a max-out-of-pocket
For free face-to-face help navigating your Medicare Supplement options, call (509) 670-2566 today!