If you are at retirement age, over 65, and on a federal government sponsored health care program that covers doctors and hospital expenses, you need help covering the gaps in your medical coverage. Medicare Supplement insurance can help you to pay your expenses each month and allow you to obtain the medical care you need without worry. These plans are to be used with your Medicare insurance and will help cover expenses that Part A and Part B do not.
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These supplement plans are often referred to as Medigap plans due to their coverage of the “gaps” in Medicare. They are available to any individual who has either Part A or B coverage. These plans are all named and they run from A to the letter L. These plans are all regulated by both state and federal laws. Rather than being offered by the federal government, like Medicare, they are issued by a private insurance company. Many companies offer this type of coverage and these policies must also include a Plan A to go along with their basic benefits. The coverage must include 365 days of hospitalization during the insured’s lifetime, as well as three pints of blood in a year, and Parts A and B coinsurance coverage.
There are ten plans to choose from.
• Plan F is the most popular because it covers the remaining 9 plans. Anyone on Plan F will not have to pay any out of pocket expense. They will also get the best prescription drug program available. This will cover all the gaps in Medicare coverage.
• Plan G is another extremely popular co-insurance option. This plan will cover eight of the nine gaps in Medicare coverage. You will only have to pay the Part B deductible out-of-pocket on this plan ($147 for 2013) after which the plan pays 100% of the gaps.
• Plan N uses what is known as a cost sharing program to keep costs low. The monthly premiums are about a third lower than the other Medicare Supplement insurance. This plan will require co-pays for doctors’ visits, though they will only be $20. A trip to the emergency room will cost $50, but will be waived if the individual is admitted to the hospital. This plan will not cover the basic Core Benefits, but it much more affordable for most.
Before supplemental insurance coverage begins, there is a deductible for both Part A and Part B. Once these deductibles are paid, then Medicare will cover eighty percent of the costs, once approved, if the individual has Part B. The various supplement plans are created to help a person cover the various types of expenses they encounter. However, the more expenses that the plan covers; the more expensive it will be in monthly premiums.
Understanding Part B Expenses
Medicare Part B works with a selection of doctors who have agreed to accept the amount Medicare pays as payment in full. This is considered an “assignment” basis. If a doctor does not work on this basis, the patients are required to pay their expenses up front. Some supplemental plans will help to pay a certain percentage of the expenses. Supplemental insurance plans F, I and J will cover up to one hundred percent of these expense. However, G will only pay eighty percent of the costs.
Medicare Supplement insurance helps offer the peace of mind in knowing that most or all of your medical bills will be paid for you. Remember that each company has the exact same coverage yet they all have different premiums. Be sure to enter your zip code below to get instant online quotes from top carriers in your area!
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