If you are age 65 or over and you’re currently enrolled in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), it is likely that you’ve been at least considering the purchase of a Medicare Supplement plan.
Medicare Supplement insurance provides coverage for many of the “gaps” that exist in Original Medicare coverage, such as copayments, coinsurance, and/or deductibles. That’s why this type of insurance is oftentimes referred to as “Medigap.”
How Medicare Supplement Insurance Works
Today, there are ten different Medicare Supplement insurance plans to choose from, and each of these are named after a letter of the alphabet. But, while having many options to choose from may be advantageous, it can also be difficult to decipher which of these plans will be the best one for you.
Each Medigap plan of the same letter is required to provide the same set of benefit options, regardless of which insurance company you purchase it from. But, because Medicare Supplement insurance plans are offered by private insurance companies, the premium prices that are charged can differ.
That’s why it is important to compare both the plans and the prices before you move forward with your purchase. Doing so through an independent Medicare Supplement insurance agent can allow you to obtain plan information and quotes from a number of different insurance companies, all in one convenient place.
So if you’ll be purchasing your first Medicare Supplement insurance plan in 2020 – or if you simply want to look at other Medigap plan options that may better fit your needs – working with an independent agent will allow you to make a thorough comparison of benefits and premiums prior to making a decision. Call us (800) 208-4974 for assistance today!
What Medigap Plans Are Best?
The best Medicare Supplement insurance plan can differ from one person to another. Because everyone’s needs differ, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution when purchasing this type of coverage.
Medicare Supplement Plan F is considered to be the most comprehensive of all of the available options. That is because this plan offers all a long list of benefits, including:
• Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs – up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used
• Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
• The first three pints of blood (each year)
• Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
• Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance amount
• Medicare Part A deductible
• Medicare Part B deductible
• Medicare Part B excess charges
• Foreign travel emergency – up to the plan limits
Even though Plan F provides numerous benefits, there are still some important items to take into consideration when factoring in the potential premium cost as versus the coverage that you may receive.
As an example, Medicare Supplement Plan G also offers a nice array of benefit options – with the only difference being that Plan G does not provide coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible – which, in 2020, is $198 per year.
Medigap Plan G can often be roughly $30 per month less in premium than Plan F, individuals can typically save much more each year due to Plan G’s lower cost, while at the same time receiving all of the other benefits offered in Plan F.
Given that, Medicare Supplement Plan G is generally thought of as a highly cost-effective plan – especially for those who may have adverse medical conditions, as you can still be eligible for nearly all of the available Medicare Supplement insurance coverage options, but you can get them at a lower premium price.
It is also important to note that Medicare Supplement Plan F will no longer be available for purchase, starting on January 1, 2020. While those who are already enrolled in Plan F will still be able to keep their coverage in force, it is likely that the premiums for this plan will increase (in some cases substantially) over time. This is particularly the case as there will be no new Plan F policyholders who are younger and in good health purchasing this plan in the future.
Other Medigap Plans that Offer Good Value for Your Premium
Although having a wide range of benefits available is important to some people, this isn’t always the case. So, even though Medicare Supplement Plans F and G provide a broad selection of coverage, there are other Medigap plan alternatives that may be more affordable, while also offering a good overall value.
When considering a supplemental insurance plan, you want to make sure that the items you are most likely to need will be covered. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan N provides an extensive list of benefit options, with some alternatives in terms of your out-of-pocket costs.
For instance, Medigap Plan N provides all of the available Medicare Supplement insurance benefits as Plan F does, other than the Medicare Part B deductible, and coverage for the Medicare Part B excess charges. Because of that, the premium for this Medicare Supplement plan will generally be lower than that of Plan F or Plan G.
While Medigap Plan N does require a copayment of $0 to $20 on doctors’ services, and a co-pay of $50 for emergency room services (unless you are admitted to the hospital), this plan can be a good option for those who are in good health who are also looking for a good value.
Taking the Next Step
When choosing a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, there are a number of factors to consider, such as the benefits that are covered, and the premium price. Because there are many different Medigap plans available, it can be difficult to decide which one is the best for you.
With that in mind, it can often be beneficial to discuss your potential needs with a Medicare Supplement insurance expert who can answer any questions you have, and provide you with premium information on the plan you are considering.
Working with an independent Medicare Supplement agent can allow you to compare plans from several different insurance carriers, and from there determine which will be right for you. If you’re ready to take a look at the coverage that’s available to you, today. We are happy to help, call us at (800) 208-4974 for assistance today!
Alex Wender is the founder and CEO of Bluewave Insurance. He has been blogging about Medicare-related topics since 2010. Since then, he and his agency have helped thousands of people across the country choose the right Medicare to fit their needs.