Medicare won’t pay for everything, which is where a Medicare supplement plan can be beneficial. Medicare supplemental health plans are offered through private insurance companies.
These plans help pay for the some of the hospital and medical costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. This includes yearly deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Some of these plans can also pay for the few services that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as emergency overseas travel coverage.
How Do Medicare Supplemental Health Plans Work with Medicare Plans?
Medigap plans will work to supplement your Medicare benefits, which is where they get the name. In order to be eligible for this type of coverage, you need to be enrolled in Medicare. These supplemental plans are not meant to provide stand-alone coverage. You are not able to receive the coverage without being enrolled in Medicare.
Medigap Helps Cover Costs
Medigap coverage is used to help cover costs in an original Medicare plan. With both insurances, Medicare will be used first and then your secondary insurance will fill in any unpaid gaps. Keep in mind, these plans won’t pay for prescription medicine. If you need help with mediation costs, you will need to be enrolled in a separate Medicare prescription plan.
Coverage That is not Supplemental
You may also be enrolled in other types of plans other than Medicare coverage. For instance, you may have insurance through an employer. This is not a supplement plan. Other plans include Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Prescription Plans, Medicare Veteran’s benefits, and long term care insurance policies.
What Benefits Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
There are 10 standard Medigap plans, which are each represented by a letter. Many of these plans are available in most states. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts have their own set of standardized supplement plans. While coverage levels and premiums will vary, the benefits of each plan within each lettered category are the same. This is true despite which insurance company you choose and your location. Plan A benefits will be the same in Oregon as they are in New Jersey. If a plan includes a certain benefit, it is 100% covered, unless it is otherwise stated.
Many of the plans will cover the following:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayment
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or co-payment
- The first three pints of blood
Depending on the plan, coverage could be partial. Other plans can include skilled nursing facility care. For example, care that may be needed in a rehab facility. Some plans even cover the deductibles for Medicare plans Part A or B. If you will be traveling to another country, some plans even cover medical emergencies. When choosing a supplement plan, think about the coverage you are more likely to use. This will help you choose a plan based on what it covers.
What Will a Supplement Plan Not Cover?
There are some health services that are not covered by any supplement plan. Long term care in a nursing home and private duty nursing is not covered. Hearing aids and routine dental care are not included. In addition, vision care and eyeglasses are not covered. Although prescription medicine is not part of any supplement plan, you can purchase a seperate plan to cover these costs.
Choosing the Right Plan
There are few things to remember when choosing the right plan, in order to get the coverage you need. You have to have Medicare Parts A and B to get supplement plans. These plans will only cover one person, so a spouse must purchase their own separate policy. You can usually use your supplement plan coverage at a provider that will accept Medicare. Some plans will only allow you to use it at certain doctors and hospitals in provider networks. Not all types of Medicare supplement plans will be available in each state. Costs will vary by plan and location. Supplement plans will be renewable as long as you continue to pay your premium.