Medicare Supplement, also known as Medigap, insures against expenses not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. These Medicare Supplement plans visit our website to fill in the gaps left by original Medicare, including deductibles, Coinsurance, and copays. In 47 states, there are now up to 10 different standardized Medicare Supplement plans which are denoted by the alphabet letters A through N (plane is the most popular one in this category). Although there is great variation across states concerning coverage and premiums, one common feature is that almost all of them offer a choice of what form of Medigap coverage to receive. While Medigap varies by state, all of them usually provide at least some of the coverage of Medicare Parts A and B.
One of the most common questions about Medicare supplement insurance plan coverage is how it differs from traditional Medicare. Like Medicare Parts A and B, it covers the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs associated with nursing home care, hospitalization, physiotherapy, surgery, emergency care, durable medical equipment, prescription drugs, insulin, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and certain other items. Also like Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Supplement covers some hospitalization costs not covered under the original Medicare program. These include extended hospital stay (ESS) charges, specialized therapeutic care, hospice care, critical care hospital stays, and extended hospital stay (ESH) care. For the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs Medicare Supplement plans do not cover, Medicare Advantage Plans is standardized, private health insurance options offered to seniors that pay a portion of the premiums but have additional benefits. Additionally, Medicare Part D is a prescription drug benefit available to the lower-income senior population.
Medicare supplement plans are standardized and there is no difference in the level of coverage among the different plans. Also, like most government programs, the costs are guaranteed in each policy year; so, regardless of current trends, the cost of premiums does not increase with increases in the coverage level. Seniors choosing to join Medicare are often surprised to find out how affordable the premiums are for the plans and that the benefits make the premiums affordable at all. In fact, if they have the greatest desire to stay intact and maintain their current standard of living and aren’t seeking any significant new medical coverage, then taking advantage of the inexpensive rates and benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan may be just what the doctor ordered.
The biggest difference in the coverage from a Medicare Supplement Plan and a traditional Part A or B Medicare policy is that the premium for a Medigap policy is tax-deductible and for a Medicare Supplement Plan it is not. Because these plans provide coverage for the same expenses that accompany a hospital bill, the difference between enrolling in a plan and staying without coverage can have a significant impact on a senior’s budget. Seniors who are not yet eligible for Medicare but who need additional health care should consider enrolling in a plan to guarantee adequate health care coverage. This ensures that even if they become eligible for Medicare there will be adequate health coverage to sustain them throughout their golden years.
Another significant difference between the Supplement Plans and the Part A & B Policies is that some plans to provide coverage for emergency care that is not available through the Medicare program. Examples of these emergency services include hospitalization, critical care and emergency procedures, diagnostic imaging tests, surgery and specialized treatments such as radiotherapy to name a few. These emergency services can help save a senior’s life and should not be overlooked when shopping around for a supplemental plan. For those seniors whose coverage under Medicare is inadequate for even the most basic emergency care, a Medicare Supplement Plan can offer the necessary coverage. The key to finding these plans is to be aware of the common benefits provided by the plans and to compare similar quotes.
One of the most popular Medicare Supplement plans currently available is called Medicare Advantage Plans F & J. These plans provide significant premium discounts compared to the rates offered by Medicare part b. For example, a sixty-year-old senior with five to ten years of experience would pay approximately eight percent less in monthly Medicare Supplement Plan premiums compared to the same individual who is eligible for Medicare part b but who has only one year of consistent medical care. Seniors who are at least sixty-two may also qualify for a ten-year Medicare Advantage Plan discount. Medicare supplement plan f also offers significant inpatient hospital care benefit which may be helpful if a senior is scheduled for extended hospitalization or is having repeated medical procedures performed. Such benefits are also available in supplemental plans for individuals with pre-existing conditions including AIDS or cancer.