Compare Medicare Supplement Plans

Shopping your Medicare plan can allow you to save money on your Medigap policy, prescription drugs, and other health expenses. So why aren’t you?

It’s commonplace to compare prices, clip coupons and look senior savings days.  This is all in a valiant effort to get the best price on groceries or gasoline for example.  A recent study showed people over 65 spend very little time shopping for their Medicare health insurance plan and the reason you ask… FEAR!

You can read the report here.

There is a myriad of reasons for the reluctance of consumers to shop their plans as they do say a turkey for Thanksgiving or perhaps the best price on a new vehicle.

The first step to relieving the fear and anxiety factor. I get it, folks! But, it’s not as scary as it seems.  The key is understanding two concepts that Medicare of parts and Medigap plans by letter.

MEDICARE 

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are 65+ years old. Medicare’s 4 parts a variety of services.

  • Medicare Part A = Hospital stays (inpatient hospital, nursing facilities, hospice, etc)

  • Part B = Medical services (doctors’ visits, outpatient, supplies, and preventive care)

  • Advantage Plans or Part C = Medicare Advantage (provides benefits to Part A and B, offered by private companies)

  • Medicare Part D = Prescription drug coverage

Choosing to get Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance when signing up for Medicare is another option. Typically these plans offer the most comprehensive coverage to Medicare.  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.  Plans are 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.

It comes down to one of three options, keeping in mind that typically Medicare pays 80 percent of eligible expenses and the remaining 20 percent are your responsibility. to cover

Option 1
You can choose to carry Medicare only and pay the 20 percent and any other on cover charges you might incur out-of-pocket.

Option 2
You can choose to use part C of Medicare and join a Medicare Advantage plan

Option 3
You can choose to use Medicare in conjunction with a Medigap plan in which Medicare pays its 80 percent of eligible expenses and then your Medigap plan pays the remaining 20 percent of charges and more depending on the plan chosen.

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About Alicia Gibbons

Alicia is a Senior Office Administrator in the Medigap industry and has 10 years experience. She is a one stop shop for answers, information and support for Medicare clients. When shes not writing you can find her in the garden.