Find Medicare Supplement Insurance that’s Right for You
Easily Find Affordable Medicare Supplement Plans
There’s a Better Way to Handle Your Medicare Bills
Some of the most frustrating aspects of healthcare coverage are understanding the totality of your benefits and how much you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket. In the case of Medicare coverage, there are some extra healthcare expenses involved that are simply not fully covered. This leaves you, the insured, responsible for costly bills; and this can become quite overwhelming.
As a solution to this, insurance carriers provide standardized Medicare supplement riders. Widely known as Medicare health supplement plans, these policies can help you manage additional costs with the goal of minimizing your out-of-pocket expenses. With this additional coverage, you become protected from all types of extra costs by bridging the gap in your Original Medicare policy.
With a gap plan, you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying retirement as opposed to spending valuable time, money and energy managing your health care bills. While you will have to pay a premium (medicare supplement insurance cost), it will be nothing compared to what you would be paying out-of-pocket without a supplementary plan that would fill that gap for you.
Read more about add on insurance for medicare.
What are Medicare Supplemental Policies? How do they differ?
Sold by insurance companies, Medigap insurance refers to a policy that must follow federal guidelines to be approved as an insurance rider for medicare. For example:
- Medicare policy holders cannot obtain coverage unless they also have Medicare Part A & B.
- There are no joint plans, it only covers one person. So a married couple will need two policies, one for each spouse.
- These policies cannot be used in combination with Medicare Advantage.
- These policies are standardized. This means, for example, that a Medigap Plan F in one state provides the same coverage as a Plan F located in another state.
- Although the medicare supplement plan riders are standardized, insurers that offer the coverage will be different and the pricing will vary as well.
Paying for your Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage
If you have Original Medicare coverage (Medicare A & B) in conjunction with a Medigap plan, you’ll end up paying two separate premiums. The first premium for Medicare Part B and the other for the gap coverage; this is assuming you have no premiums to pay for Medicare A (If you are 65 and you or your spouse has paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you don’t pay a premium for Part A).
Where Part B premiums are taken from your Social Security income check, Medigap premiums, on the other hand, are paid directly by you to the insurance carrier that offers the policy.
Neither Original Medicare nor a gap plan cover outpatient prescription drugs. If prescription drugs are needed, Medicare enrollees can purchase a separate Part D prescription drug coverage policy by paying a separate monthly premium. Since 2006, when Medicare Part D coverage became available, gap policies stopped including any outpatient prescription drug coverage, however, some previous policies issued before 2006 may have been grandfathered-in.
What does it Cover?
Medicare supplement insurance coverage handles the sorts of expenses
that you, as a beneficiary of Part A & B, would have to pay out-of-pocket. It is important to note that these expenses are covered by Medicare, but not fully covered.
In most cases, Medigap plans are put in place to handle out-of-pocket expenses for services that are covered by Medicare. For example, this means that gap plans do not cover vision and dental fees, just as Original Medicare does provide coverage for routine vision and dental services.
Read more about what Medigap insurance may cover
What About Deductibles and Coinsurance?
Part A & B both come with deductibles and coinsurance. When the deductible is met, Part B covers 80% of the approved amount, leaving you to pay the other 20% with no limit on out-of-pocket expenses.
For every benefit period, Part A applies a deductible, and then coinsurance starts to accrue after 60 days in the hospital. Although it is termed ‘coinsurance’, it is actually a fixed daily amount, not a percentage of the cost.
For stays that go beyond 20 days in a skilled nursing facility, as per Part A, a coinsurance charge is applied. As in the case of Part B, there is no limit on the amount an enrollee can spend in out-of-pocket expenses under Part A.
Medicare supplement insurance coverage comes into play to protect beneficiaries from these deductibles and coinsurance expenses. These policies are in fact the ‘bridge’ that fills the gap in Medicare.