What is Medigap Plan B?
What is the difference between Medicare Part B and Supplemental insurance? Although complementary to Medicare Part B, Medigap Plan B is a separate plan sold by private insurance companies, which helps Medicare beneficiaries with out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Plan B coverage is considered quite basic in comparison with other Medigap plans.
These plans are 10 standardized plans nationwide, with the exception of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Meaning they must provide the same basic benefits, no matter where they are sold or by which insurance carrier. For example, Plan B Medicare Supplement sold by Insurance Carrier X in Texas has to offer the same benefits as Plan B sold by Insurance Carrier Y in New Jersey. The key difference between these policies is the premium. Some insurance carriers may charge a higher premium for extra additional services. However, basic benefits must be uniform across all companies.
Medigap Plan B Eligibility
Medicare Plan B enrollment requirements aren’t any different than other Medigap plans. Before getting into Medigap Plan B benefits, here are the general eligibility requirements for Medicare Supplement Plan B:
– You are at least 65 years of age, a U.S. citizen, or permanent legal resident for at least five consecutive years
– You are currently receiving retirement benefits.
– You are disabled and receiving disability benefits
– You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
– You have Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS).
What does Medigap Plan B Cover:
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B covers:
– Medicare Part B Copayments & coinsurance
– First three pints of blood received as an outpatient or hospital inpatient. Original Medicare will normally cover blood received after the first three pints.
– Deductible for Medicare Part A
– Hospital costs for Medicare Part A and coinsurance for up to 365 further days after your Medicare benefits are used up
– Coinsurance or copayment for Hospice Care on Part A
On the other hand, Medigap Plan B Coverage does not include:
– Deductible for Medicare Plan B
– Part B excess charges
– Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care
– Foreign travel emergency care
Medigap Plan B Cost
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B policyholders must pay for their Medicare Part B deductible as well as the coinsurance associated with skilled nursing facility care, excess charges for Original Medicare Part B and any costs associated with foreign emergency travel. Plan B is considered basic compared to most other Medigap policies.
As for the exact cost of Medigap Plan B, it varies from one insurance company to another, however, all the base benefits must be uniform regardless of who sells them or where they are sold.
Medigap Plan B vs Plan G
Plan B is less comprehensive in comparison with Plan G. Unlike Plan B’s basic coverage, the coverage of Plan G covers skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, Part B excess charges, and foreign travel emergency to up to 80%
Is Medigap Plan B a good choice for you?
Do you need a supplement with Medicare Part B? if you do not want to pay more expensive premiums for benefits you may never end up using, then Medicare Supplement Plan B could be the right choice for you. However, you should note that if the need arises and you use any of the uncovered categories outside the covered benefits of Medigap Plan B, such as Medicare Part B deductible, you may end up paying more in out-of-pocket expenses than what you would pay for the premium of a more comprehensive package that gives you more space with that aspect.