What are Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans?

Medicare supplement insurance plans were designed to work with Medicare part A and part B to help people pay for out-of-pocket expenses.  These plans provide excellent coverage and each have a monthly premium you must pay when you enroll.  There currently are 10 different plans and they are designated in plan letters.  These letters are A through N with each plan having slightly different benefits.  Plan a is the most basic plan, with plans F, G, and N being the most popular.

Why Get a Supplement Plan?

The main reason for enrolling in a supplement plan is that it minimizes your out-of-pocket expenses in risk when it comes to medical bills.  For instance if you are hospitalized and you just have Medicare part A and B you will need to pay deductible which is over $1000.  There is also a deductible for using part B Medicare of $147 as well as you having to pay 20% coinsurance of all your medical bills.  Other expenses that you are exposed to you with no supplements are things like a blood deductible, hospital coinsurance which gets quite costly, and limited skilled nursing facility benefits.

Medicare supplement insurance plans can pay for most or all of these expenses that idea which plan letter you get.

When to Enroll

The best time to enroll in a supplement plan is during your open enrollment period which is the first six months for when you originally are eligible for part B Medicare.  During this time anyone with pre-existing conditions can be accepted and guaranteed it to get a policy.  You may choose any company or any plan letter and they must issue you the coverage even if you have major health conditions.  It is extremely important for those with conditions to enroll during this time so you’re not declined coverage.

For people who already are enrolled in part a and part B Medicare and are still working beyond the age of 65 there is a 63 day guaranteed issue period in which you can enroll into a Medicare supplement plan.  If you have pre-existing conditions in are in this situation there are only certain plan letters that you can enroll in and bypass medical underwriting.  Plan F is the most popular plan for people to enroll in during this time.

Important thing to remember is that you may change Medicare supplement insurance plans any time throughout the year.  Most people change plans when they get a rate increase as they can likely save money.  Every carrier has the exact same benefits but they all have different premiums for each plan letter.

Which Plans Are Best?  

Because everybody situation is different there is no one best Medicare supplement plan.  There are however a few different plans that are the most popular due to their outstanding coverage and low premiums.  Some of these plans are plan F, G, and plan N.

Plan F is the most popular because it pays 100% of the gaps that Medicare does not cover.  As with all of the other supplement plans there is no network with plan F.  Th you may visit any Dr. or specialist that accepts Medicare anywhere in the country.  With plan F you will have no deductible, no coinsurance, and no copayments that you will have to pay out-of-pocket.

There is also a high deductible version of plan F in which you must pay the 20% coinsurance until you reach your deductible amount which is over $2000.  After that the plan F high deductible supplement will pay 100%.  The premiums of this plan are much lower than a standard plan F it is good for those who are healthy and wish to have catastrophic type insurance.

Plan G is just like plan F except those who have its must pay the part B deductible each year themselves, rather than having plan F pay it for you.  Because you’re paying this deductible yourself you will have lower premiums on plan G and likely save money over plan F.

Supplement plan N is similar to plan G which you have to pay the deductible, however after that deductible is met you will have up to a $20.00 co-pay for each doctor’s visit.  As well on plan N if you visit the emergency room and you do not get admitted into the hospital then you’ll have a $50.00 co-pay.  One other difference in plan N is that it does not cover Medicare part B excess charges.

Shop Around and Choose Wisely

Because each insurance carrier has identical plan letters and benefits of it is necessary to get quotes from the top companies and compare rates.  The premiums on Medicare supplement insurance plans from each company do vary widely so it is extremely important that you don’t overpay.


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