The Definitive Guide To Medicare supplement plans: How To Choose One?
One of the most common mistakes made by those new to Medicare is that they don’t understand what their options are when it comes to choosing a plan. For example, many people mistakenly believe that Medicare Supplement plans are identical to traditional “Medigap” insurance plans. Not only is this not true, but it can also lead people to make uninformed decisions.
What Is A Medicare Supplement Plan?
A Medicare supplement plan is a type of insurance that fills the gaps in coverage by Medicare. They are not “Medigap” plans, which provide some of the same coverage, but a supplement to traditional Medicare.
Medicare Supplement plans cover some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare, including prescription drugs and dental care. The plans also cover additional expenses like co-pays and deductibles.When choosing a plan, you’ll want to consider:
- What your needs are?
- How much you can afford?
- The amount of coverage you need
- Your health status
- The network available to you
- Your location
How Do Medicare Supplement Plans Differ From Medigap Insurance?
In the United States, there are ten different types of Medigap plans available. While each plan has its benefits and exclusions, they typically cover:
– Part A coinsurance
– Part B coinsurance
– Part A hospitalization coinsurance
– Outpatient hospital charges after the deductible are met
– Durable medical equipment (DME) charges
– Skilled nursing facility (SNF) after the deductible is met
– Foreign travel emergency medical expenses for each trip taken outside the U.S. annually
– Annual physical exams on which Medicare does not pay anything
The difference between traditional Medigap insurance and Medicare supplement plans is that with a traditional Medigap insurance plan you will have gaps in your coverage, but with a Medicare Supplement Plan, you won’t have any gaps in your coverage. In some cases, you might be able to get both a traditional Medigap insurance plan and a Medicare Supplement Plan (depending on where you live).
If this applies to you, it’s best to get an expert opinion before purchasing either one so that you can be sure which one would work better for your situation.
The Importance Of Choosing The Right Plan
The wrong plan can be a disaster for you and your loved ones. Traditional Medicare Supplement plans are perfect if you want to save on premiums and if you don’t anticipate any out-of-pocket costs for things like deductibles, coinsurance, or copayments. But there is a downside to this type of plan. If you have a significant health issue, traditional plans may not cover all of your medical expenses.
For example, traditional plans only cover 80 percent of the cost of certain procedures like hospitalization. If you’re using traditional Medicare Supplement plans and get hospitalized, then 20 percent of the cost could come out of pocket. This means that if hospitalization costs $10,000 and your deductible is $1,000, then 10 percent (or $1,000) would come out of pocket before the insurance company starts paying anything at all.
Who Should Consider A Medicare Supplement Plan?
A Medicare Supplement plan isn’t right for everyone. In general, people who are healthy and don’t have any major health problems may not need a Medicare Supplement plan. If you already have coverage through your employer, or if you’re covered by other private insurance, then you may not need a Medicare Supplement plan. However, if you do not have any other coverage, then you must consider a Medicare Supplement plan.