This is one question we get from a lot of our clients who are new to Medicare.
"What are Medicare Supplement plans?"
A Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) helps pay for some, or all of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover.
Generally, there are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans. Each plan is labeled with the letters A through N. The letter represents a specific set of federally mandated benefits. Private companies can choose to sell some or all of the plans, but the benefits under each are the same.
***Medicare supplement plans are standardized in a different way in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plans
|Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital cost (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)|
|Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment||50%||75%|
|Blood (first 3 pints)||50%||75%|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||50%||75%|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||50%||75%|
|Part A deductible||50%||75%||50%|
|Part B deductible|
|Part B excess charges|
|Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
- Plan F: In general, Plan F covers 100% of covered Medicare services. However, Plan F is also offered as a high-deductible plan by some insurance companies in some states. If you choose this option, this means you must pay for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, deductibles) up to the deductible amount of $2,300 in 2019 before your policy pays anything.
- Plan G: You must meet the yearly Part B deductible ($185 in 2019). Plan G then pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
- Plan N: You must meet the yearly Part B deductible ($185 in 2019), a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits, and up to $50 for emergency room visits. Plan N then pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
Helpful Tips for Medicare Supplement Plans
You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan. Remember you cannot have both plans. Make sure you leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medicare Supplement policy begins.
You pay the insurance company a monthly premium for your Medicare Supplement plan. The monthly premium is in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
A Medicare Supplement plan policy only covers one person. You and your spouse each have to buy separate policies in order to have coverage.
There are two common ways to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, either through the company directly or by working with an independent broker. Either way, the premium charged will be the same.
Any standardized Medicare Supplement plan is guaranteed renewable, even if you have health problems. The insurance company can't cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.
Some Medicare Supplement plan policies sold in the past cover prescription drugs. But, Medicare Supplement policies sold after January 1, 2006, do not include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).