Medicare Supplement Insurance is sometimes also called Medigap. It essentially fills in the various gaps of coverage that would require you to pay out-of-pocket for doctor visits, nursing home expenses, and even prescriptions.
Who Can Get Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance is made available to anyone who is at least 65 years of age and who has both Medicare Part A and B. It is also available to people who qualify for Medicare because of a disability and have both Part A and B.
Part A is provided by the federal government at no cost. Part B is also provided by the federal government but is a monthly expense. This will vary based upon income, though the average person (for 2017) will pay a monthly premium of $134.
What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance is a way to cover all that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Medicare Part A will cover inpatient hospital care, hospice care, in-home physical therapy and part-time skilled nursing care, as well as blood transfusions after the first 3 pints of blood. It will also provide inpatient care at a religious, non-medical healthcare facility of a patient’s choosing.
Medicare Part B will cover more medical aspects, including durable medical equipment, diagnostic tests, screenings, chemotherapy, nursing care, doctor services, an initial physical exam as well as a yearly wellness exam. It will also cover ambulance services and some Pap smear and mammography screenings. It will also cover flu and pneumonia vaccinations.
There are still a lot of expenses that are not covered – and that’s what Medicare Supplement Insurance is used to cover.
There are a total of 9 coverage areas that Medigap will take care of. Four are covered by all of the plans while the remaining five are split among the various plans that are offered.
There are 10 plans that a person can choose from and will include a mixture of benefits that range from co-insurance and co-payments of hospice care and skilled nursing facility all the way to the deductibles for Medicare Part A and B. The plans might also encompass excess charges for Part B as well as foreign travel emergency expenses.
The 10 plans are available throughout all states, with the exception of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The plans are the same in terms of coverage regardless of the insurance provider. This means that it’s important to first decide on the plan and then shop different companies based on price as well as long-term pricing structures, which change as you get older.
The Different Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
The various Medicare Supplement Insurance are all given a different letter. Regardless of the letter, they will all contain coverage in four areas. This includes:
- First three pints of blood for a transfusion
- Co-insurance expenses from Part A hospital care
- Co-insurance/co-payment expenses from Part A hospice care
- Co-insurance/co-payment expenses from Part B
- Plan F is the most common of the Medigap plans and that’s because it provides coverage across all areas. In addition to the four things above, a person would have deductibles for Part A and Part B covered, the Part A skilled nursing care co-insurance, Part B excess charges, as well as foreign travel emergency (80%) expenses covered.
- Plan A: All four of the main areas
- Plan B: All four of the main areas + deductible for Part A
- Plan C: All four of the main areas + deductibles for Part A and B and co-insurance for skilled nursing care in Part A + foreign travel emergency (80%)
- Plan D: All four of the main areas + deductible for Part A and co-insurance for skilled nursing care + foreign travel emergency (80%)
Plan F: Coverage in all areas
- Plan G: All four of the main areas + deductible for Part A and co-insurance for skilled nursing care + Part B excess charges + foreign travel emergency (80%)
- Plan K: All four of the main areas at 50% with exception of co-insurance costs for hospital care for Part A. For 2017, individuals must spend $5120 out-of-pocket prior to receiving reimbursement for other medical expenses. 50% of the deductible for Part A + co-insurance for nursing care is also included.
- Plan L: Similar to K with the exception that it is all at 75% and the out-of-pocket yearly limit for 2017 is $2560.
- Plan M: All four main areas + 50% of deductible for Part A, Part A co-insurance for skilled nursing care + foreign travel emergency (80%)
- Plan N: All four main areas + deductible for Part A, co-insurance for skilled nursing care + foreign travel emergency (80%)
In the end, it’s important to compare the various plans and determine where you need the coverage. Then, get quotes from multiple providers of Medical Supplement Insurance to get the best overall premiums.