Medicare Supplement

Top 10 Things to Know About Medicare Supplement Insurance

Let’s walk through the “Top 10 Things to Know About Medicare Supplement Insurance Policies”:

Number 1:  Guaranteed Renewable.

As long as you pay the premiums, a Medigap policy is guaranteed to stay active with the same benefits and coverage.  Your Medigap policy cannot be cancelled for your health status - or for any other reason - at ANY time.

Number 2:  Not Subject to Medicare Enrollment Periods.

With Medigap, you can enroll at any time and switch plans at any time. 

Number 3:  No Networks.

Medigap coverage is good in all 50 states, which means you can see the doctor of YOUR choice.  It also makes domestic travel a breeze, so it’s great for snowbirds and those who travel across states lines to visit family and friends.  Some plans also cover foreign travel.

Number 4:  Plan Options are standardized.

Medigap plans are standardized under federal and state laws.  Insurance companies must offer the same basic benefits for the same Medigap plan.  A Plan G from one carrier is the SAME as a Plan G from a different carrier. Standardization makes it easy to comparison shop for the right coverage at the best price.

Number 5:  No Surprises.

With a Medigap policy, it’s easier to budget for medical expenses because there are no surprises!  Medigap plan options include: plans with $0 out-of-pocket costs/expenses; and plans with a small deductible and/or co-payments.  For Medicare beneficiaries on a fixed income, this is great news.

Number 6:  No Paperwork.

With Medicare Supplement Insurance, claims are automatically filed by your provider.  You can enroll in a Medigap plan online OR over the phone, with no signature required.  You don’t have to do ANY paperwork, which makes enrollment hassle-free!

Number 7:  Plan F Changes in 2020.

Starting January 1st, 2020, Medigap Plan F will no longer be available to new Medicare beneficiaries.  If you’re on/eligible for Medicare prior to 2020, you may want to look at new Plan F options with lower rates.

Number 8:  Most Popular Plans.

Medigap Plan G and Medigap Plan N are quickly becoming the 2 most popular options, due to pricing and flexibility of coverage.

Number 9:  Find a Medigap Specialist.

Medigap policies are sold by more than 50 companies nationwide.  Find a licensed Medigap specialist who works with all companies. This will give you access to multiple plan options and ensure you’re getting the lowest rates available in your area.

Number 10:  Household Discounts.

Many carriers offer a variety of discounts to help you save money on your Medigap coverage.  Even if your spouse has another carrier - or isn’t on Medicare - household discounts are still available.  Discounts typically vary by company with some offering up to 12% savings.

Medigap Plan G vs Medigap Plan N | Choosing the Most Cost-Effective Option

Medigap Plans N and G - which plan should YOU choose? We look at the primary similarities and significant differences, plus 2 real-life examples that demonstrate why some Medicare beneficiaries should choose Plan N and others will find Plan G to be the most cost-effective option. Below we break down Medicare Part B Excess Charges, co-payments, premiums and state-specific exceptions - the most important considerations when evaluating Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans G vs N!

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan G vs Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan N. You might’ve heard about them -they’re the most popular Medigap plans right now!

I’ll start by explaining 3 primary similarities between Plan G and Plan N. Next, I’ll highlight 3 significant differences between the two. Then, I’ll touch on premiums and state-specific exceptions. Finally, I’ll describe 2 real-life examples to help you understand why some people are better off with Medigap Plan G and others are better off with Medigap Plan N. Hopefully, this will shed a little light on the two most popular Medigap plans!

Let’s start with 3 primary similarities between Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans G and N. First, the Medicare Part A deductible IS covered under both plans. Second, the Medicare Part B deductible of $185 per year is NOT covered under either plan. Third, both plans cover hospitalization, skilled nursing facility care, blood, hospice care and foreign travel.

For complete coverage information, click the link in the description to access our Medigap Plan Comparison Chart.

Now let’s talk about 3 significant differences between Medigap Plan G vs Medigap Plan N.

First, doctor visit and outpatient co-payments. Plan G has no co-pays. Plan N has co-pays of up to $20 per office visit. Second, emergency room co-payments. Plan G has no emergency room co-pays. Plan N has a co-pay of up to $50 per emergency room visit. However, this co-pay is waived if you’re admitted to the hospital. Third, Medicare Part B Excess Charges.

Ok, you might be asking yourself, “What are Medicare Part B Excess Charges?” Allow me to explain! Medicare has a Fee Schedule. Some doctors, based on their education and/or training, don’t agree to the fee Medicare is willing to reimburse. These doctors are permitted to charge up to 15% more than the Medicare Fee Schedule permits. These are called Excess Charges. If no Excess Charges appear on a policy, the insured person must pay that additional 15%. While it’s fairly uncommon, some individuals will run into this as out-of-pocket expenses.

So, moving back to the third significant difference between Medigap Plans G and N: Excess Charges. Plan G covers Excess Charges of up to 15%. Plan N does not cover Excess Charges. For a comprehensive breakdown of the differences between Plans G and N, click the link in the description to access our Medigap Plan Comparison Chart.

In most states, Medigap Plan G generally runs about $20-25 more per month than Medigap Plan N. The condition of your health may determine which plan is best for you!

If you live in Wisconsin, Minnesota or Massachusetts, you won’t find “Medigap Plan G” or “Medigap Plan N” on the menu! Each of these 3 states has its own policy identification system. But fear not! We’re developing new videos that focus on each of those states. Be sure to subscribe to the SMS YouTube Channel so you don’t miss a thing!

So far, we’ve highlighted the 3 primary similarities and 3 significant differences between Medigap Plan G vs Medigap Plan N. We’ve also talked about premiums and state-specific exceptions. Now let’s see what this looks like in practice, using real-life examples.

In Example 1, Medigap Plan N is the better choice. Tom is a 74-year-old man. He lives a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t take any medications. The only time Tom sees a doctor is when he goes for his annual physical.

In this case, Plan N is the more cost-effective option for Tom. Here’s why: Tom will pay a lower premium for Plan N. Tom will have to pay a co-pay for his annual physical and any visits the emergency room. However, his annual out-of-pocket costs under Plan N will STILL be lower than the higher annual premium he’d pay for Plan G. If Tom selected Plan G, he would pay more money for coverage he doesn’t need! So Tom’s best option is likely Plan N.

In Example 2, Medigap Plan G turns out to be the better option. Linda is 68-year-old woman who lives a sedentary life. She’s a tobacco user who’s slightly overweight and has high blood pressure. Linda’s on several medications. She visits her doctor at least 4 times a year, if not more frequently. In this situation, Linda would benefit more from Plan G. Here’s why: Linda will pay a higher premium for Plan G. However, Linda will not have to pay co-pays for her doctor visits or any visits to the emergency room. Although Linda’s annual premium is higher under Plan G, her total annual out-of-pocket costs will exceed the amount she’d save on the Plan N premium because of her frequent doctor and/or emergency room visits. If Linda selected Plan N, she would likely end up paying more than the annual Plan G premium when the deductible and co-pays are taken into account! So Linda’s best option is likely Plan G.

While these 2 examples are great for demonstration, I encourage you to look beyond generic charts and bottom-line pricing. Finding the best plan to fit your needs AND your budget is what we do here at Senior Market Solutions! Our licensed Medigap Insurance Advisors do ALL the legwork so YOU can focus on living your life!

Medigap Plans N and G - which plan should YOU choose? Rick Teska of Senior Market Solutions discusses primary similarities and significant differences, plus 2 real-life examples that demonstrate why some Medicare beneficiaries should choose Plan N and others will find Plan G to be the most cost-effective option.

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