When it comes to Medicare coverage, you may wonder if a Medicare Supplement plan is necessary or even worth it. To help you decide, here’s what you need to know about Medicare Supplement plans.
What are Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap policies, help cover the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t. With Original Medicare, you pay deductibles, copays, and 20% for services you receive from doctors. But with a Medicare Supplement plan, it can pay for some or all of these costs for you. It “supplements” or fills the “gaps” in Original Medicare.
These plans are offered by private insurance companies and sold to Medicare beneficiaries. Know that Medicare Supplement plans do not add coverage to your Medicare plan or affect which doctors you can see, so no need to worry about that. However, if Medicare doesn’t cover a service, then your Medicare Supplement plan generally won’t cover the costs either and you would need to pay for the service yourself.
How Does it Work?
To buy a Medicare Supplement plan, you need to have Medicare Part A and B. The best time to sign up for Medicare Supplement plans is during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period automatically begins the first month you have Medicare Part B and you’re 65 or older. This is the best time to sign up because you’ll get better prices and more choices among policies, as you cannot be turned down if you have a pre-existing medical condition. After the open enrollment period ends, insurance companies will require you to answer health questions on future applications for Medicare Supplement plans, and you may be turned down. When you enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, it will renew for the rest of your life as long as you pay your premiums.
When you go to the doctors or have a service done, Medicare coordinates the billing and claims between Original Medicare and your Medicare Supplement plan. Medicare will be billed first by your provider, and your Medicare Supplement plan will be billed second. Depending on the plan, you will be billed for what remains, like a Part B deductible.
What Are My Choices?
The federal government has standardized Medicare Supplement plans. No matter which insurance company sells you a plan, the coverage you receive will be the same. The only difference will be the quoted price as they vary between insurance companies.
There are ten separate plans labeled A through N. Different plans give different coverages, so once you decide how much coverage you want, you can check online or contact an insurance agent for quotes.
Which Plan is the Best?
While Plan G is becoming a popular choice, it’s hard to say which plan is “the best.” The right plan for you depends on your personal preferences. There’s good and bad news to that. The good news is that you have a lot of plan options to choose from! The bad news is picking the right plan can be challenging.
If you need help looking for a Medicare Supplement plan, our agents at Jeffery Insurance are here to guide you. We are based in Scottsdale but are happy to assist you no matter where you are in Arizona. We are Arizona’s health care resource!