STANDERDIZED MEDICARE PLANS
Medicare Supplement Plans
A Medicare Supplement is a type of health insurance sold by private insurers to cover the gaps in Medicare. This is why we refer to the plans as “Medigap Plans.”
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Frequently asked questions about Medicare Supplements
Medigap plans are policies that pay after Medicare to fill in the gaps. You can choose a Medigap plan that will help you to pay for your deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. (Again, these plans are also called Medicare Supplements – same thing, just two different terms.)
When you compare Medicare Supplement plans in 2022 – 2023, you’ll find that many name-brand carriers you are familiar with our offering these plans.
Plan F and Plan G are the two most popular Medigap plans. As you can see in the Medigap comparison chart, Plan F covers all the gaps in Medicare. Plan G is only slightly different, so it is also a popular seller.
When you compare Plans F and G side by side, you’ll immediately notice that Plan G has only one difference: the Part B deductible. If you compare annual premiums for Plan G and the premiums save you more than you will pay out for the Part B deductible, then enrolling in Plan G makes sense.
Plan G has also gained popularity over Plan F since Plan F is no longer available to new Medicare enrollees. Because Plan C and Plan F cover the Part B deductible, they are no longer available to those who become eligible for Medicare in 2020 or later.
In recent years, we’ve also seen a growing interest in Plan N too. Plan N offers lower premiums if you are willing to do a bit of cost-sharing. Unlike Plan F or G though, Plan N does not cover excess charges. You’ll want to read up on this and understand what that means before enrolling.
Medicare supplements came into being shortly after Medicare was signed into law. Because you are required to pay for some things, like 20% of outpatient expenses, supplemental policies were created to pay those expenses for you. This allows people to feel less worry over how much each medical visit will end up costing them.
Some of the primary advantages of a traditional Medicare Supplement policy are:
- Freedom to choose your own doctors and hospitals
- No referrals required to see a specialist
- Predictable out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare-covered services (and zero out-of-pocket with Plan F)
- Nationwide coverage – you can use it anywhere in the United States
- Guaranteed renewability – the insurance company can never drop you or change your coverage due to a health condition
Supplemental insurance for seniors with Medicare is the most predictable back-end coverage that you can buy. You will know exactly what’s covered for every inpatient or outpatient procedure based on which Medigap plan you choose.
Each Medicare Supplement plan in the chart above has a letter, A – N. Each plan letter provides a different set of benefits. However, each lettered plan must have the same standardized coverage regardless of which insurance company you choose. For example, Medicare Supplement Plan N at Blue Cross Blue Shield has the same benefits as Plan N from United Healthcare.
The Medicare Supplement chart below shows the 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans. These plans can be offered by insurance companies in most states. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Massachusetts have different options though.
Most people enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans F, G or N. That’s because these offer the most coverage. However, the reason for the choices is to let you decide what is most important to you. Some beneficiaries want a plan that covers all the gaps and leaves them with no worries about the cost of medical procedures. Other beneficiaries prefer a Medicare supplement plan in which they cover some of their deductibles and copays out of pocket in order to achieve lower premiums.
There is no right or wrong here. Ask your broker to provide quotes for several plans and see what makes the most sense to you.
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