Medicare Supplement Plans
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Medicare Supplement Plans
The healthcare industry is so full of coverage options that it’s difficult to stay informed about all of them. For people over 65, one of the most advantageous coverage options can be a Medicare Supplement plan. Medicare Supplement plans are also referred to as Medigap policies. These policies are designed to limit medical service expenses not covered in Original Medicare. Medicare Parts A and B have deductibles, copays, and other gaps in coverage that a Medigap plan can fill.
What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurance firms approved by Medicare that cover the gaps in Parts A and B of Medicare. These policies are standardized and overseen by the state insurance department. Medigap policy pricing varies based on certain factors, like location and age.
In short, a Medicare Supplement plan is a private health insurance policy that supplements Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
What Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
While Original Medicare provides coverage for a wide range of healthcare costs, Medicare Supplement plans step in to cover a number of out-of-pocket expenses missed by Original Medicare. Some of the costs covered under this type of plan include the following:
- Medicare deductibles
- Your coinsurance
- Doctor's services
- Lab costs
- Medical care abroad
To enjoy the benefits of this plan, you’ll need to keep up with your monthly premiums for your Medicare Supplement plan along with any premium(s) paid for Medicare Parts A and B. Many people will not pay a monthly premium for Part A if they or their spouse worked over 40 quarters in the course of their life or they worked for the government. Those who do not qualify for premium-free Part A can expect to pay a premium depending on their work history. Medicare Part B, however, has a standard monthly premium of $170.10 (for the year 2022) that could be higher based on an individual’s income. The Part B premium changes annually. For more information on Medicare updates, keep up with our Medicare blog.
Your Original Medicare will take care of its share of the Medicare-approved medical bills while the Medicare Supplement plan will cover out-of-pocket costs that meet the necessary criteria for coverage. There are several Medicare supplement plans to choose from, each offering different coverage and cost.
What Is Not Covered by Medicare Supplement Plans?
As stated before, Medicare Supplement plans vary from one location to another, each offering different coverages and costs. However, in general, most Medigap policies do not offer plans for:
- Dental coverage
- Prescription drug coverage
- Hearing aids
- Eye exams, vision care, and eyeglasses
- Private-duty nursing
- Long-term care
While Medigap doesn’t cover the above costs, you may find some Medicare Advantage plans that do. Be sure to speak with an experienced Medicare advisor to help you decide what type of plan may work best for you, depending on your specific situation. Keep in mind that a Medicare Supplement plan only covers one person. This means you will have to buy separate policies for every beneficiary, even for married couples.
What Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?
When shopping for your Medigap policy, the price of a Medicare Supplement plan may vary if the insurer:
- Applies a different premium if you don't have Medigap protection (The pricing may change if the insurer uses medical underwriting or is not included in the Medigap Open Enrollment Period.)
- Offers discounts
- Sells select Medicare plans that require the insured to use specific providers
- Offers high-deductible options for Plans G and F
When it comes to the question of cost for Medicare supplement plans, there is no definite answer. However, the premiums could range from $50 - $300 monthly on average. Keep in mind that the cost of each plan may vary based on policyholder information. Typically, Medigap policies with higher monthly premiums have lower deductibles, while those with lower monthly premiums have higher deductibles.
What Are Some of the Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans?
The most popular Medicare Supplement plans are plans F, G, and N. These three form the bulk of plans sold by insurance companies, taking up to 80% of sales.
- Plan F: Although unavailable for new enrollees born after 1955, Plan F is popular among Medicare beneficiaries for its comprehensive nature. You don't have to pay anything out-of-pocket for Medicare-covered expenses, but it also makes this the most expensive plan available. With this plan, you can take care of 100% of Part A and B deductibles, excess charges, and coinsurance.
- Plan G: Like Plan F, this plan also covers 100% of the gaps in Original Medicare. However, this plan doesn't cover Part B deductibles. With this plan, you can settle 100% of your out-of-pocket expenses covered under Original Medicare once you satisfy your Part B deductible.
- Plan N: Plan N is considered a value-priced coverage with numerous benefits. With this plan, you can take care of 100% of your out-of-pocket expenses under Original Medicare except for the excess charges and part B deductibles. The downside to this coverage is it will not cover copayments for office visits up to $20 or outpatient ER up to $50.
To learn more about which Medicare Supplements may be right for you and explore different coverage options, schedule a free consultation with our team of specialists or call Delta Medicare Benefits Group today at (901) 460-7220.
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