Medicare Supplemental Insurance — Which policy is best?

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Our recommendation: After picking the benefit combination (Plan A through L) that best suits your needs, buy the issue-age or community-rated Medigap policy with the lowest premium. Even though they are a bit more expensive at the start, your premiums won’t go up every year just because you get older. (AARP’s Medigap plans use a combination of issue-age and community-rated methods; their premiums don’t increase as you get older, but their younger retirees do receive a discount.)

Compare Medicare Advantage & Supplemental Plans

Medicare supplement plans offer benefits in addition to the benefits offered by Medicare Parts A and B, and they are offered by private insurance companies. There are several different types of Medicare supplement plans available, including Plan A, Plan C, Plan F, Plan M and Plan N. Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are not complementary, so it is important to understand which type of policy makes the most sense for you. Our licensed sales agents are standing by to walk you through a comparison of the costs and benefits of each type of plan, and to help you choose a Medicare supplement plan that best meets your needs.

Overview of Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare has several gaps and doesn’t pay for all of the health care services you may need. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan, you may want to buy Medicare supplemental insurance, also called Medigap insurance. This is health insurance that helps pay for some of your costs in the Original Medicare program and for some care it doesn’t cover.   Medigap insurance is sold by private insurance companies. By law, companies can only offer standard Medigap insurance plans. There are 11 standard plans labeled A-N. Each plan, offers a different set of benefits, fills different “gaps” in Medicare coverage, and varies in price. You will want to study all the Medigap plans before deciding which is best for you. No matter which insurance company offers a particular plan, all plans with the same letter cover the same benefits. For instance, all Plan C policies have the same benefits no matter which company sells the plan. However, the premiums can vary. All 11 standard Medigap policies cover basic benefits, but each has additional benefits that vary according to the plan. None of the standard Medigap plans cover: • long-term care to help you bathe, dress, eat or use the bathroom • vision or dental care • hearing aids • eyeglasses • private-duty nursing • prescription drugs If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin, you have different standard Medigap plans.   In addition to the standard Medigap policies, Medicare SELECT is a type of Medigap policy that can cost less than standard Medigap plans. However, you can only go to certain doctors and hospitals for your care.  Check with your state insurance department to find out if Medicare SELECT policies are available in your state. Medigap Basic Benefits    All plans must offer these basic benefits. The basic benefits for plans K – L include similar services as plans A-G and M but the cost-sharing for the basic benefits is at different levels. Medicare Part A After you have paid your hospital deductible ($1,100 in 2010), the Original Medicare Plan pays all your hospital costs for up to 60 days in a benefit period*. If you stay in the hospital more then 60 days, you pay $275 (in 2010) a day for days 61 through 90.  If you stay longer than 90 days in a benefit period, the cost for each day is $550 (in 2010) for up to 60 days over your lifetime.   All 11 Medigap plans cover (pay) your costs for days 61 through 150.  In addition, once you use your 150 days of Medicare hospital benefits, all Medigap plans cover the cost of 365 more hospital days in your lifetime. If you have the high-deductible option of plan F, you must first pay $2,000 in health care expenses before your costs will be covered. If you have plans K, L or M you will have to pay a portion of the hospital deductible ($1,100 in 2010), before your costs will be covered (unless you have already met the annual out-or-pocket maximum for the year. *A benefit period begins the day you go to the hospital and ends when you have been out of the hospital for 60 days in a row. If you go into the hospital again after 60 days have passed, you begin a new benefit period. Medicare Part B After you pay your yearly Part B deductible ($155 in 2010), Medicare generally pays 80 percent of doctor and other medical services. It pays 50 percent of mental health services and 100% of some preventive services. Medigap plans cover all or part of your share of these services – 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for doctor services and 50 percent for mental health services.  (The Medicare approved amount is the amount that Medicare decides is a reasonable payment for a medical service). Blood The Original Medicare Plan doesn’t cover the first three pints of blood you need each year. Plans A-D, F-G, and M through N pay for these first three pints. Plans K pays 50% and L pays 75% part of the cost. Preventive Care All 11 Medigap plans offer this benefit, which covers any coinsurance for Part B preventive services. Hospice Medigap covers the 5 % coinsurance for palliative drugs and respite care under the Part A hospice benefit. Medigap Additional Benefits Medicare Part A Hospital Deductible Medigap Plans B, C, D, F, G and N cover the hospital deductible ($1,100 in 2010) for each benefit period. Plans K, L, and M cover part of it. This benefit usually saves you money if you have to stay in the hospital.   Skilled Nursing Home Costs The Original Medicare Plan pays all of your skilled nursing home costs for the first 20 days of each benefit period. If you are in a nursing home for more than 20 days, you pay part of each day’s bill.   Medigap Plans C, D, F, G and M through N pay your share of the bill ($137.50 a day in 2010) for days 21 through 100. Plans K and L pay part of it. Neither Medicare nor any Medigap plan pays for any skilled nursing home stay longer than 100 days in a benefit period. Medicare Part B Deductible You must pay a deductible each year for doctor and other medical services before Medicare pays.   Medigap Plans C and F pay this deductible. In 2010, the deductible is $155.

AARP® Medicare Supplemental Insurance by United Healthcare

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. If you’re considering a Medicare supplement plan, talking to an agent/producer may offer the direct assistance you’re looking for.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Why do I need a Medicare supplement? Even though Medicare will cover a large portion of your Medical expenses there are many gaps left for you to pay. These gaps can easily deplete a person’s financial resources when they are on a set budget. A Medicare supplemental insurance policy can cover most or all of the Medicare costs left unpaid and the policies are affordable for most people. A majority of people turning 65 can find insurance in the $95 to $150 price range that will cover all the deductibles and co-payments.  When turning 65 there is no underwriting and all Medicare supplement policies are guaranteed renewable.  Because insurance premiums can vary wildly by location, age, insurance company, and other criteria it is important to request quotes from and independent agent before purchasing a Medigap plan.

Dental Insurance, Individual Vision Plan, Senior, Medicare Supplement

MWG Insurance Mall is the premier health insurance site online. Here, you’ll find great support in your search for Medicare supplemental insurance, dental insurance, and many other types of coverage. We strive to make our site as accessible as possible. Find a solution for your health insurance needs by relying on us to find the perfect senior life insurance plan, vision plan, or dental coverage. If you require further guidance, reach out to us.

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