What is the difference between Medicare Part B and supplemental insurance? Although complementary to Medicare Part B, Medicare Supplement Plan B, is an entirely separate policy sold by private insurance carriers that provides coverage for help with out-of-pocket expenses. A variety of Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plans offer varying coverage options for out-of-pocket expenses associated with your Medicare policy; Medigap Plan B provides some of the more basic coverage options.
There are a total of 10 standardized Medigap policies offered across all states, with the exception of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Standardized plans refer to Medigap policies that are identified with the same letter type. These policies must provide the same basic benefits no matter what carrier is selling the plan. For example, Insurance Carrier Z selling Medigap Plan G in Texas must have the same basic benefits as the same policy sold by Insurance Carrier Y in New Jersey.
The key disparity between the policies sold by different carriers is the cost of the premium. Some companies may offer extra benefits with their Medigap policies, however, basic benefits must be uniform across all companies. With that being said, the best Medicare Supplement Plans 2021 can be determined by their premium costs paired with the extra benefit options that they offer.
Medicare Supplement Plan B Eligibility
Before getting into more details about coverage, here are the general eligibility requirements for Medicare Supplement Plan B:
You are at least 65 years of age and have been a US Citizen or permanent legal resident for at least five consecutive years
You are currently receiving retirement benefits
You are disabled and therefore receiving disability benefits
You have End-Stage Renal Disease
You have Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS
Medicare Supplement Plan B Coverage
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
Policyholders of Medicare Supplement insurance Plan B must pay for their deductible under Medicare Part B. Additionally, they are responsible for paying for coinsurance associated with skilled nursing facility care, as well as Part B excess charges, and any costs associated with foreign emergency travel. With that being said, there are still other Medicare Supplement plans that may offer coverage for these mentioned categories.
As with Medigap as a whole, all policies are offered by private insurance companies and costs will differ. Plan B Medicare Supplement costs and additional benefits may vary from carrier to carrier, however, all insurance companies must provide this policy with the same standardized/basic benefits.
Is Medigap Plan B a good choice for you?
Do you need a supplement with Medicare Part B? If you would prefer not to pay more expensive premiums for benefits that you may never end up using, then Plan B Medicare Supplement insurance coverage could be the right policy for you. You should note that if a need arises for any of the uncovered categories outside of Medicare Supplement Plan B benefits, such as the Part B deductible, then there is a real possibility of paying higher out-of-pocket expenses.
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