Choosing Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap, help fill the gaps in original Medicare coverage. These plans are designed to complement Original Medicare, which helps pay for hospital services (Part A) and doctor visits (Part B). They can also help pay for out-of-pocket costs that aren’t covered by original Medicare, such as coinsurance or deductibles.

Choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan

There are eleven standardized Medicare supplement Check it out insurance plans, each with a letter assigned to it. They offer similar benefits, but they vary in price based on the insurance company you buy them from.

The most important thing to know about Medicare supplement plans is that they are “guaranteed renewable.” This means that an insurance company can’t cancel your policy unless you make intentional false statements or don’t pay your premiums. Depending on your health, you may be able to keep your policy for as long as 20 years or longer.

You can apply for a medicare supplement policy any time. However, the best time to sign up for a Medicare supplement is during your open enrollment period, which begins when you are both 65 or older and have Part B. This six-month window is the best time to compare rates and decide which plan best fits your needs.

During the open enrollment period, you can also change your coverage to another supplemental plan. The change must be within a certain time period, such as three months after the end of your current plan.

Your new supplemental plan must cover all of the same things as your old one, except for prescription drug coverage. If you have a high deductible Medicare plan, you will need to get a separate prescription drug plan to pay for medications you take.

The type of supplemental Medicare plan you choose depends on your needs and your budget. It’s a good idea to talk with friends, family members, and a trusted financial adviser before making your decision.

Medicare Supplement Plan A

The Medicare supplement insurance plan with the lowest premiums is Medigap Plan A, which covers your deductible and 20 percent of Medicare Part B coinsurance costs. You will also have to pay a small copayment for many doctor’s office visits and a copayment for some emergency room visits that don’t lead to inpatient admission.

Medicare Supplement Plan C

If you aren’t eligible for a plan with a high deductible, Plan C may be the best option for you. Plan C includes the same benefits as Plan A, but pays for all Medicare Part A coinsurance and deductible costs.

Medicare Supplement Plan F

If your health isn’t as good as it used to be, you may want to consider a plan with a higher deductible. The deductible for Plan F is higher than the deductible for most other Medigap plans, but you’ll still have lower monthly premiums.

Medicare Supplement Plan K

In some states, Plan K is the only supplemental Medicare plan that includes preventive services at no additional cost to you. These include preventive exams, health screenings, and blood tests that you’d need to pay for under a traditional Medicare plan.