Medicare, unfortunately, may not cover all your needs, especially as you grow older and potentially in need of more expensive healthcare.
That’s where Medicare supplement plans come in – to help you cover the cost of your care.
What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
A Medicare supplement plan (also referred to as Medigap plans) is an extra private insurance policy that you can purchase to help cover some of your health costs that Medicare doesn’t – it fills in the “gap” between your healthcare costs and Medicare coverage.
These are extra or supplemental health insurance that you purchase from a private insurance company, they are not administered through the federal or state governments.
With a Medicare supplement plan, you pay a monthly premium to a private insurer.
You should also keep in mind that Medicare supplement plans are only accessible to individuals who already have Medicare Part A, which is meant to cover hospital services and stays, as well as Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient or physician services.
Another type of Medigap plan is Medicare Advantage.
What Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
Medicare supplement plans can cover things like copayments, co-insurance, and other out of pocket expenses.
These are extra or supplemental health insurance that you purchase from a private insurance company; they are not administered through the federal or state governments.
What Don’t Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
These types of supplemental plans do not cover long term care like assisted living, home health care or private nursing, or similar types of care.
Most Medicare supplement plans also do not cover prescription drugs.
There are specified prescription plans that can be purchased called Part D.
Why Do You Need a Medicare Supplement Plan?
You absolutely need a Medicare supplement plan if you have more healthcare costs than Medicare itself will cover.
What Type of Medicare Supplement Plans are There?
There are a wide variety of Medicare supplement plans, all with different levels of coverage and benefits.
The standard Medicare supplement plans are labeled alphabetically from A through N, all offering different levels of health coverage.
Note that while your premium may vary depending on which insurance company you go with, the benefits of each standard Medicare supplemental plan (A-N) remain consistent.
This means that say, a Medicare supplement plan F will offer you the same set of benefits regardless of which insurance company you buy it from.
How Do You Choose the Right Type of Medicare Supplement Plan?
Choosing the right type of Medicare supplement plan depends on the “gap” in your healthcare coverage.
Evaluate your current Medicare coverage and compare it to the actual overall costs or projected costs of your healthcare, and then choose the type of Medicare supplement plan that suits those needs.
Your insurance agent can sit down with you and help you decide.
Keep in mind that the standard Medicare supplement plan details vary by state, so you’ll want to work with an insurance agent who understands the unique details, requirements, and types of plans.
Before buying a Medicare supplement plan, your insurance agent can help do a thorough examination of your current and potential future health care needs and help you decide which plan is right for you.
Another thing to note that is Medicare supplement plans do not cover pre-existing conditions until you’ve held the coverage for up to 6 months, unless you purchase the plan during the yearly open enrollment period in December and January.
You can re-evaluate your Medicare supplement plans and other health care needs yearly in case things change.
What Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?
The cost of a Medicare supplemental plan varies depending on the type of plan you purchase as well the insurance provider you get it from.
For instance, a Medicare supplement plan G may be one price at insurance company ABC, and a higher or lower price at insurance company XYZ.
Also, always remember that your healthcare needs may change and become more expensive as you age, so having a Medicare supplement plan could be more important than you think.
What Other Types Of Insurance Are Related To Medicare Supplement Plans?
Any kind of health insurance are technically related to Medicare supplement plans, but Medigap plans are meant to fill the gaps between your main Medicare coverage and the actual health care that you require, as opposed to being your primary insurance provider.
Ready to learn more about a Medicare supplement plan, and if it is right for you? Talk to an ASCO Insurance agent today.