It’s a new year with a lot of new changes coming. How will it affect Medicare Supplement Plans in 2014? A lot of people are concerned about how a new year and Obamacare will affect them. If you have Medicare, a Medicare supplement, or are 65 or older, you should be aware of what will happen to your insurance policies.
Prepare for Changes
Every so often you should take a look at the plans you have or are interested in to see if they give you the coverage you need. Even when the plans don’t change, your insurance coverage needs could. Maybe your health is worsening or improving. Maybe your financial situation has changed and you don’t have as much income as you had before. Or perhaps you have in increase of income and you want to find a plan with better coverage.
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Whatever, the case, you should look at your options to make sure you are on the plan that is best for you. Now Medicare Supplement Plans in 2014 are not changing, and most of them have not changed in years. That makes them a little easier to keep up with. But it doesn’t mean that you should just stick with the plan you already have.
A lot of people are looking at cheaper plans than what they already have, especially since the economy is still working its way out of a recession. Medicare Supplement Plans are just one way to cut costs. And you don’t have to give up essential coverage to save some money.
If you are like most people, you probably chose Plan F for its full coverage, but you may be finding you don’t use some of that coverage or that it is just too expensive for you. If you feel that you made a mistake by picking the wrong plan, no matter whether it was too much coverage or too little, it’s not too late to correct it.
If you choose a plan like G or N you can get similar coverage at a reduced rate. A lot of people who previously had Plan F are looking at plans G and N for the cheaper premiums they offer.
Only Pay for the Coverage You Need
Plan F will still provide the most coverage of all Medicare Supplement Plans 2014 has to offer. It pays all the deductibles and copayments that people with Medicare parts A and B would have to pay without it. It will also cover hospitalization and hospice care, nursing facility care, your first three pints of blood and even foreign medical expenses. With Plan F, you could have no out-of-pocket costs whatsoever. The tradeoff for all that coverage, however, is the highest premiums among Medicare supplement plans.
With Plan G, you get all the same benefits from Plan F, except that you have to pay the Medicare Part B deductible. This is a once-per-year deductible and costs $147 in 2014 Therefore, it is in many people’s best interest to go with Plan G for its lower premiums and pay the Part B deductible themselves. Plan F will cost you more than $147 extra in monthly premiums in nearly every case. In some situations depending on age, you could save several hundreds of dollars by switching companies and dropping down to Plan G from Plan F.
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Alternatively, Plan N reduces both the coverage and the premiums a bit more. With Plan N, you will have to pay that Part B deductible as well as all Part B excess charges and a small copayment for office visits and emergency room care. If these are charges you only receive coverage for infrequently anyway because of your relatively good health, you should consider switching over. If you are paying for coverage you simply don’t need, then you are paying too much for your policy.
People who are interested in Plan N should be aware of the two copays it comes with. You will pay $20 for every office visit and $50 for each emergency room visit. Both of these have to be paid up-front, in most cases, so you should keep that money handy. While this can be inconvenient, it works out to be cheaper to pay the copayments then to pay the premiums that cover them.
Now plans G and N both come with less coverage than the full-coverage Plan F, but they are quite a bit cheaper. Imagine how much money you will save over a year of switching to a cheaper plan that still gives you all the coverage you need. Many people prefer to pay the Medicare Part B deductible themselvesto save money on insurance premiums.
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