This is about as confusing a subject as there is. We will for sure make it easy for you to secure the coverage you need.
General features of Medicare Supplement insurance plans
Medicare Supplement insurance plans work with Original Medicare (Parts A & B) to help with out-of-pocket costs not covered by Parts A and B. The following are also true about Medicare Supplement insurance plans:
- Predictable costs help you stay ahead of unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.
- No network restrictions mean you can see any doctor who accepts Medicare patients.
- You don’t need a referral to see a specialist.
- Coverage goes with you anywhere you travel in the U.S.
- There is a range of plans available to fit your health needs and budget goals.
- Purchasing a Medigap plan and a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan could give you more complete coverage.
- Guaranteed coverage for life† means your plan can’t be canceled.
How do Medicare Supplement insurance plans work with Original Medicare?
Medicare Supplement plans work alongside your Original Medicare coverage to help cover some of the costs you would otherwise have to pay on your own. These plans, also known as “Medigap”, are standardized plans. Each plan has a letter assigned to it, and offers the same basic benefits. The basic benefit structure for each plan is the same, no matter which insurance company is selling it to you. Note: The letters assigned to Medicare Supplement plans are not the same things as the parts of Medicare. For example, Medicare Supplement Plan A is not the same as Medicare Part A (hospital insurance).
What Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cost?
The primary goal of a Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) plan is to help cover some of the out-of-pocket costs of Original Medicare (Parts A & B). As a general rule, the more comprehensive the coverage, the higher the premium, however, premiums will also vary by insurance company, and premium amounts can change yearly.
Medicare costs and Medicare Supplement
Original Medicare doesn’t pay for everything. When you have a Medigap plan to work with Original Medicare it can help with some of the following costs that you would have to pay on your own:
- About 20% in out-of-pocket expenses not paid by Medicare Part B for doctor and outpatient medical expenses (after the annual deductible is met—$233 in 2022).
- Part A coinsurance, and most plans include a benefit for the Part A deductible (which could be one of the largest out-of-pocket expenses if you need to spend time in a hospital.)
- Hospital coverage up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up.
- Part A hospice/respite care coinsurance or copayment.
Applying for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period because your acceptance is guaranteed. It starts on the first day of the month in which you’re both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. Some states have additional Open Enrollment periods and Guaranteed Issue requirements.
If you apply outside of Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue periods, you may be denied coverage or charged more based on your health history. Enrollment and Guaranteed Issue is ongoing and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.
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