Medicare is a government health insurance program that provides coverage for seniors and people with disabilities. Medicare consists of four parts: Part A, which covers hospital expenses; Part B, which covers doctor visits and other outpatient services; Part C, which is a private health plan option that allows beneficiaries to receive their benefits through a managed care organization instead of the traditional Medicare program; and Part D, which covers prescription drug costs.
This blog post will discuss Medicare supplements – also known as Medigap plans. We will explain what these plans are, what they cover, and how they can help you save money on your health care expenses.
What Are Medicare Supplements?
Medicare supplements (Medigap) are supplemental insurance policies that cover some or all of your out-of-pocket costs for medical services and supplies not covered by Original Medicare. They can help pay deductibles, coinsurance payments, copayments, and more, so you don’t have to worry about those expenses while receiving necessary care.
If you’re eligible for Medicare, it’s a good idea to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan. The coverage these plans offer can be invaluable, especially if you have expensive health care needs. Be sure to shop around and compare rates before selecting a plan, though – not all supplements are created equal!
Medicare Supplement Benefits
There are currently ten different Medigap plans available: A through N (except Plan J, which was discontinued in 2020). Each plan covers different amounts of the same benefit categories, such as hospitalization or doctor visits. Still, each has its own set of rules on whether it will cover any given service at all (for example, if there’s no coverage offered under Part B). This means that one policy may not always be better than another for any given person. This depends entirely on what kind of care they need most often, and how much coverage their doctor or hospital has contracted with Medicare to receive payment from the insurance company.
For example, if you have a heart condition that requires regular checkups but only visit your primary physician once every six months, then plan A might cover those visits while B wouldn’t because there aren’t many options available under Part B. However, these plans will both provide some level of coverage when visiting other doctors like specialists who practice treating specific conditions such as cardiologists (heart doctors) or neurologists (brain specialists).
What Is Covered By Medicare Supplements?
Medicare Supplements Plans are standardized so that each plan covers the same basic benefits. However, not all services are covered by every plan. There is no guarantee that a particular service will be available from any given provider.
The ten Medicare Supplement plans (A-N) offer different levels of coverage for the following benefit categories:
Hospitalization – This includes inpatient care and stays in skilled nursing facilities (up to 100 days per spell of illness).
Doctor visits – Covers both preventive and routine doctor visits, including specialist appointments.
Emergency care – Provides limited emergency coverage outside of the United States.
Lab tests – Includes diagnostic lab tests like blood work or x-rays ordered by your doctor.
X-rays and other diagnostic tests – Covers diagnostic services like MRIs and CAT scans.
Prescription drugs – Helps cover the costs of prescription medications, although not all plans offer this benefit.
There are also a few other benefits that may be covered by different plans, such as dental care, vision care, or even a fitness benefit to help offset the cost of a gym membership.
How Much Do Medicare Supplements Cost?
The cost of Medigap policies varies depending on the plan you choose, your age, where you live, and whether you smoke or not. However, the average premium for a Medigap policy in 2022 is $163 per month.
Remember that premiums can and do change from year to year, so it’s important to shop around for the best deal. You can use our Medigap plan finder tool on Medicare.gov to compare policies in your area.
Can I Switch My Medicare Supplement Policy?
Yes, you can switch your Medicare Supplement policy at any time if you find a policy that offers better coverage or is cheaper than your current one. However, be aware that there may be waiting periods of up to 63 days before your new policy goes into effect, and you will have to continue paying premiums for both plans during that time.
It’s also important to note that not all insurance companies offer every Medigap plan, so you might not be able to switch to the exact policy you want.
What Is The Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid?
Medicare is a health insurance program available for people who are 65 or over, people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).
Medicaid offers low-income individuals and families a health insurance program. The program is financed by the federal government and the states, with each state having its own eligibility requirements.
What Do The Medicare Supplement Plans Offer?
Medicare supplements offer peace of mind by filling in the gaps left by Original Medicare, so it’s important to not confuse Medicare’s Parts A and B with Medigap Plans A and B. The Medigap plans are supplemental insurance. They’re a great way to ensure you have coverage for all of your health care needs, and they can be a valuable addition to your retirement plan.
Plan A: This is the most basic plan, and it covers hospitalization, doctor visits, emergency care, and lab tests.
Plan B: This plan also covers hospitalization, doctor visits, emergency care, and lab tests, but it adds coverage for X-rays and other diagnostic tests.
Plan C: This plan includes all of the benefits in Plans A and B plus coverage for prescription drugs.
Plan D: This plan has the same benefits as Plan C, except it offers a higher level of prescription drug coverage.
Plan F: This plan is the most comprehensive Medigap policy, and it comes with the same benefits as Plans A-D plus vision coverage, dental care, and a fitness benefit.
Plan G: Plan G offers similar benefits as Plan F, but it doesn’t offer coverage for the fitness benefit.
Plan K: This plan covers hospitalization and doctor visits only, and it doesn’t include coverage for emergency care or lab tests.
Plan L: Provides similar benefits to Plan K, but it includes coverage for emergency care.
Plan M: This plan is similar to Plans K and L but includes lab tests coverage.
Plan N: This plan is similar to Plans K, L, and M, but it doesn’t include coverage for vision care or dental care.
What Isn’t Covered By Medigap?
Keep in mind that Medigap policies do not cover long-term care, such as nursing home stays or custodial care. They also don’t typically cover anything related to vision, dental care, or hearing aids.
Does Medigap Work While You’re Traveling?
Many Medicare supplement plans offer travel insurance as an added benefit, so be sure to check with your carrier before you leave town. Traveling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous with the right coverage. If something happens while you’re away and need medical attention, your Medicare supplement plan will help cover the costs. Just make sure to pack your card and ID!
Do I Need To Have Part A And Part B To Get A Medigap Policy?
No, you don’t need to have Parts A and B to get a Medigap policy – in fact, many people who have Medigap policies don’t have Parts A and B. However, if you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (a private health insurance plan that replaces Original Medicare), you must have Parts A and B.
Can I Get A Medigap Policy If Medicaid Already Covers Me?
No, you can’t get a Medigap policy if Medicaid already covers you. If you’re enrolled in Medicaid, your coverage will differ from what’s offered through Medicare and Medigap.
Can I Still Get A Medigap Policy If I Have Medicare Advantage?
Yes, you can still get a Medigap policy if you have Medicare Advantage. However, your premiums for the Medigap policy may be higher because Medicare already covers you.
What If I Want To Cancel My Medigap Policy?
If you decide that you no longer want your Medigap policy, you can cancel it at any time. However, bear in mind that if you do so, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll for a new policy.
Additionally, if you cancel your policy and later decide that you want it again, you may not be able to get the same plan – or any Medigap plan – because plans can change from year to year.
Get The Supplement Best Suited For You
At Nesso Senior Benefits, we can help you find the best supplement plan to fit your needs. Our goal is to make sure the selection process goes as smoothly as possible and that you’re able to get the best plan for yourself.
The professionals at Nesso Group are here to help and guide you through the selection process with open and transparent communication, so you’re aware of everything along the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out now to get started.