Medicine

Quick Facts about Medicare Supplement Plans

Right after enrolling in the Original Medicare program, you will have to understand the need for additional coverage. Medicare can be categorized into four parts – Part A, B, C and D. Both Part A and Part B are included in the Original Medicare, while Part C and Part D are optional. In this post, we will try to understand Part D or Medigap better.

What’s Medicare Supplement?

Commonly also known as Medigap, Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurance providers and covers some of the healthcare expenses that are not included or covered by Original Medicare. There are standardized plans in 47 states, named by letters from A to N. Please note that three states – Minnesota, Massachusetts and Wisconsin have their own plans. Here are some of the other facts that will help in finding the best Medicare supplement plans.

 

  • First things first, a Medigap policy is not compulsory, but as a beneficiary of the Original Medicare, you must evaluate the need for additional coverage. The policy can be purchased from one of the insurance companies that have been licensed by the state for Medigap.

  • It’s equally important to understand the cover and inclusions of Medigap before you decide to pay. Medicare Supplement Plans generally pays for the copayments and other deductibles that are not covered the original Medicare.
  • You need to first enroll for Medicare Part A and Part B for getting the benefits of Medigap. Even with a supplement plan, you will still need to pay for Part B premium, besides paying the premium for Medigap policy. Once you have both original Medicare and Medigap, both policies will pay a share of the actual costs.
  • Some of the supplement plans may cover the cost of services that are not included in Part A and Part B. For example, if you are traveling outside the US, Medigap may cover your healthcare costs.

  • Finally, do note that Medigap is very different from an Advantage Plan under Medicare. The Advantage plan basically covers for prescription drugs, while a Medigap policy supplements the actual Medicare policy. If you already have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can still go for Medigap, but it’s important to quit the former. In short, you cannot have both at the same time.

Also, it’s important to mention that Medigap covers one person at a time, and hence, you will need a different policy for your wife/spouse.