Choosing Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also known as Medigap, is an insurance program to help individuals who are eligible for Medicare pay health care expenses that are not covered by Medicare. Each Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy is sold by private insurance companies but must follow federal and state guidelines designed to protect the insured. Generally, these insurance companies sell standardized Medigap plans that are distinguished by different letters.

Consider your current and possible future health conditions when deciding which plan is best.

Who is Eligible for a Medicare Supplement?

Every person with Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B is eligible for this insurance. Typically, individuals who are at least 65 years old may purchase this policy within six months of their birthday. Individuals who are younger than 65 and have End Stage Renal disease, ALS or have Medicare because of a disability are also eligible.

A few exceptions apply to eligibility for individuals who have Medicare. You may not qualify if you:

• have a Medicare Advantage Plan
• are covered by a union or employer group health plan and have Original Medical
• have a Medicare SELECT plan and Original Medicare

This does not permanently prevent you from receiving a supplemental insurance policy.

The best medicare supplement plans


If you decide to switch to Original Medicare within one year of having Medicare Advantage, you are guaranteed the right to receive one of the Medicare Supplement plans. You can purchase a plan once you are no longer covered by a union or employer group health plan. Additionally, you may purchase supplement insurance for Medicare SELECT plan if you move away from the SELECT plan coverage area.


Types of Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

There are 10 different types of Medicare Supplement plans.

Plan A

Plan A is a basic benefits policy that covers coinsurance for hospice care under Medicare Part A and 100 percent of:

• Medicare Part A co-payments minus the deductible; 365 additional in-hospital care after Medicare ends
• Medicare Part B coinsurance
• The blood deductible cost for three pints of blood

Plan B

Most states offer Plan B, which covers preventative and medically necessary care. As a supplement to Medigap Plan A, this plan covers:

• Doctor visits
• Hospitalization and hospital coinsurance
• Select home health care services
• Occupational therapy
• Outpatient care

Plan C

Plan C offers extended coverage that is not included with Medicare Parts A and B. You receive:

• Basic coverage
• Coinsurance for Medicare Part B preventive care and other health care services
• Skilled nursing care
• Coinsurance for Medicare Part A hospital costs
• Emergency care during foreign travel

Plan D

Plan D supplements your original Medicare coverage with Part A and hospital coinsurance for an extra 365 days, and blood pints beyond the first three. In addition, you receive:

• Coinsurance for care in a skilled nursing facility
• At-home care up to $1,600
• Medicare Part A deductible
• 80 percent of emergency care in a foreign country up to the $50,000 lifetime limit

Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medigap policy. This plan pays for:

• Excess charges
• Skilled nursing facility care
• Medical emergencies overseas

Coverage under Plan F continues for one year after benefits for Medicare expire. You also have a high deductible option with Plan F, which helps to lower premiums. This plan doesn’t pay anything until you reach a deductible of $2110 (2013 cost).

Plan G

Coverage for Plan G includes:

• Coinsurance for Medicare Part B medical expenses
• Coinsurance hospitalization plus an additional year after Medicare coverage expires
• Outpatient copayments
• Three pints of blood
• Part or all at-home recovery care not covered by Medicare
• 80 percent of excess charges from Medicare Part B
• Hospital stay deductibles in Medicare Part A
• Coinsurance for care at a skilled nursing facility
• Medical emergencies overseas

Plan K

This plan is for skilled nursing, hospital and hospice care. Plan K also offers 100 percent coinsurance sots for hospitalization and 50 percent co-payments for the first three pints of blood.

Plan L

This plan pays 75 percent of copayments for non-preventative treatments above policy limits. Plan L also covers 75 percent of:

• Medicare Part A deductible
• Skilled nursing care
• Hospice care

Coverage increases to 100 percent after the deductible in Plan L and Medicare Part B are reached.

Plan M

Plan M covers:

• Basic Medicare benefits in Plan A
• Half of the $550 Medicare Part A hospital deductible
• Copayments for ER and doctor visits
• Skilled nursing coinsurance
• Emergency expenses overseas

Plan N

This plan offers:

• Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance
• Payments for one year after Medicare expires
• 100 percent Medicare Part B coinsurance
• Part A skilled nursing facility and hospice coinsurance
• Part A deductibles
• ER treatment during foreign travels

medicare supplemental insurance

As you can see there are several options when it comes to choosing the best Medicare Supplemental insurance to fit your needs. We highly recommend have a licensed and experienced, independent advisor help you in your search. Simply enter your zip code above to get instant online rates for Medigap plans and free, no-obligation consultations.

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the best medicare supplement plans