Let Freedom Ring

MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTS WORK BETTER FOR US

Medicare Supplemental plans provide the freedom that we need to see almost any doctor in the United States for anything, not just emergency care. 

Medicare Supplemental Plans

 

Enrolling in Original Medicare only leaves you exposed to unlimited out-of-pocket expenses.  To protect yourself, we recommend that you purchase a Medicare Supplemental or Medicare Advantage plan.

Overview, what is it?

Medicare Supplemental plans are designed to work with Original Medicare, so you must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B in order to buy a Medicare Supplemental plan.   When you need care, Original Medicare pays a portion of Medicare-approved charges.  The portion of unpaid Medicare-approved charges is your responsibility to pay.  Unpaid charges are often represented by deductibles, copayments, and coinsurances, but not always.   If you have a Medicare Supplemental plan, it may pay some or all of the unpaid Medicare-approved charges, depending on the plan you buy.  It may also offer additional benefits that Original Medicare does not offer.  Medicare Supplemental plans do not include pharmacy coverage.  You need to buy it separately.   

Benefits. Oh, there are so many!

Out-of-pocket expenses are less than having Medicare alone.  Some plans (Plan F) pay what Medicare does not pay, so you have no out-of-pocket costs for Medicare approved charges.  And, you do not need to see doctors that are only in a network, like an HMO, PPO, or EPO plan requires.  There are no network disruptions to worry about.   As long as the provider accepts Medicare, you can can receive care from that hospital or doctor.  If you travel throughout the United States, a Medicare Supplemental plan provides the flexibility to seek non-emergency care anywhere in the United States.  Some plans even provide limited coverage for emergency care outside of the United States.  Basically, you have more freedom to access services with minimal out-of-pocket expenses, depending on the plan you buy.  There are no claim forms to complete either. 

When can I buy it?

Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplemental plan anytime during the year.  Underwriting guidelines are likely to apply.  However, we must say, the best time to buy these plans is during your 6-month Open Enrollment period.  This period begins on the first day of the month that you turn 65 years old and enroll in Part B.   Your rates are a lot cheaper when you enroll at this time and there are no underwriting requirements.  There could be other situations where you have guaranteed enrollment, such as loosing your employer coverage, divorce, relocating into a new service area, and more.   Talk to us, we can explain more situations.   

a.k.a, MediGap Plans

Medicare Supplemental plans are also called MediGap plans.  Yep, they are the same thing.  Don't let the name throw you for a loop.

Standardization

There are 10 different MediGap plans.  Each plan is named after a letter (e.g., "A", "B", "C").    Each plan has a unique set of benefits which have been standardized by federal law.   Not all plans are available in each state or by every private company.  While each plan has the same basic benefits, companies charge different rates.  Some companies offer added benefits to differentiate themselves from the competition. 

 

The chart below provides a general overview of the Medicare Supplemental benefits for each plan.  The percentage reflects how much the plan covers from each benefit category.  For example, Plan A covers Part A coinsurance and copays for hospital and hospice costs.  It covers the first three pints of blood too, but it does not cover the Part A deductible, Skilled Nursing, Part B deductible, charges in excess of Medicare-approved Part B services, or travel outside of the United States. 

Basic Chart of Medicare Supplemental Plans

*  Note:  Plan N pays 100% , except for a $20 copay for office visits and $50 for Emergency Rooms.

**Note:  OOP means Out-of-Pocket Limit for 2019.

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