Medicare Supplement Plans is flexible insurance (medical) insurances designed to fill in the gaps left by regular Medicare coverage. Medicare Supplement Plans is standardized, limited in coverage, and comes in several different forms. The most popular are:
Medigap policies pay a guaranteed set amount for a specific set of medical services each month. The coverage varies by plan. One type of Medicare supplement plans cost less per month than a regular Medicare policy. For example, an individual with a Medicare Advantage Plan pays a lower monthly premium than the same level as a regular monthly premium policy for a family of four. Most Medigap policies pay nothing for hospitalization costs.
Medigap policies pay nothing for outpatient coverage. Some Medigap policies allow a deductible for out-patient hospital stays, which may require a co-payment. The premiums paid for Medigap plans often have no restrictions on the covered benefits. They may be just one visit maximum or unlimited visits. Medigap plans can be used to cover the difference between what Medicare will cover, and what a private insurance company would pay for the same exact procedure. For example, if you had to pay $500 for surgery, but because your Medicare plan covers 80% of it, you would not be paying for the full amount, but the savings would apply towards your Medicare deductible.
Medicare Supplement Plan I, II, or IV, allows you to take advantage of special Medicare benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, at any time throughout the open enrollment period. When you sign up for Medicare Parts A and B, you are given a starting monthly prescription cap. If you exceed the cap on any medications, you are asked to pay the difference at the time of renewal. If you use a Medicare Advantage Plan in place of Medicare Part A or B, you cannot exceed the prescription drug benefit limit for either drugs, their ingredients, or their manufacturer.
Certain Medigap plans offer coverage for other healthcare costs. Medicare Supplement Plan F and J both help pay costs associated with hearing aids, vision care, and chiropractic care. Medicare Part D, also known as Prescription Drug Coverage, pays the cost of certain prescription drugs that are medically necessary. Medicare Part A, also known as Medigap Essential, covers your inpatient healthcare, laboratory services, and home healthcare. Medicare Advantage Plans can also help cover other specific healthcare costs, such as adult daycare, transportation, and spa visits.
It is a good idea to talk with a Medicare representative before deciding which plan is best for you. They can explain the additional coverage available with various policies, as well as help you understand which plan provide the most benefits. Medicare supplements are intended to supplement the primary coverage plan, and are not intended to be used as an alternative. Before selecting a Medicare Supplement plan, make sure that you are choosing a policy that will provide you with the greatest degree of medical assistance.