Medicare Supplement Plans work differently from most of the other health insurance plans. With them, health benefits are not covered. However, these plans help in covering costs that you are responsible for with Original Medicare. Remember, it can be challenging to know what is medically included and what is not primarily with the many Medicare plans available these days.
We will be taking a look at what a Medicare supplement plan covers, who it is meant for, why it is crucial, and how to apply among others.
So, what does a Medicare supplement plan cover exactly? Take a look!
- Blood transfusions involving up to three pints of blood
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Medicare deductibles
- Out of pocket limit
- Any hospice care coinsurance or co-payment
- Hospital costs that you may incur after running out of Medicare-covered days
The above are some of the situations that a Medicare supplement plan comes in handy. With it, you will be well covered and do not have to worry about a lot of other issues.
Who can benefit from a Medicare supplement plan?
The answer to who needs a Medicare supplement plan is a little bit personal. It involves looking at your circumstances and taking slightly educated guesswork into the future. The truth is, none of us know how their health will be like a few years from today. Anyone can get a Medicare supplement plan if they need one as long as they are aged 65 years and above.
However, if you are nearing the age of 65 or are almost retiring, you might be interested in the available Medicare enrollment options. Usually, the standard coverage beneficiaries receive Medicare Part A and Part B. They are also referred to as Original Medicare. Part A deals with coverage for hospitals, hospice care, and skilled nursing facilities. Part B, on the other hand, includes doctor visits, outpatient therapy, medical equipment, and ambulances as well. It's worth noting that both Parts A and B have deductibles and co-payments/coinsurance.
There are various Medicare Supplement Plans available, and it depends on an individual's needs. However, some of the available ones in most states include:
- Plan A: covers Part B and hospice care coinsurance or co-payment, and blood transfusions.
- Plan B: this plan is a bit similar to Plan A, but it includes Part A deductible coverage
- Plan C: contains the same coverage as those of Plan B but also covers Part B deductible coverage and foreign travel coverage as well of up to 80 percent. However, Plan C is being discontinued from January 1, 2020. It means from next year it will be impossible to enroll in this plan.
- Plan D: it includes everything in Plan C except for Part B deductible coverage
- Plan F: This plan is similar to everything in plan C but comes with Part B excess charge coverage. Usually, Plan F represents a high-deductible option, and its enrollees are expected to pay Medicare-covered costs up to $2,240. That is before their Medicare supplement insurance can step in to pay for anything. Just like Plan C, Plan F will be put to a stop as of January 1, 2020. Signing up from next year will be impossible.
- Plan G: it is like a replica of Plan F except for Part B deductible coverage.
- Plan K: it is a little bit unique than most of the plans we have gone through so far and covers 50 percent of the following costs;
- Part B coinsurance or co-payment and blood transfusions
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or co-payment
- Crucial skilled nursing facility care coinsurance as well as Part A deductibles
- It is worth noting that Plan K does not cover things like Part B deductibles, foreign travel exchanges, and excess charges. It has an out of pocket limit amounting to $5,240.
- Plan L: this plan covers 75 percent of the same costs as Plan K. It does not cover Part B deductibles, excess charges, or foreign travel medical expenses. The difference comes in that it has an out-of-pocket limit of $2,640.
- Plan M: it is a bit similar to Plan D with the only exception coming in that it does not cover 50 percent of Part A deductibles
- Plan N: it has the same coverage as Plan A with a few exceptions. For instance, it includes foreign travel exchange up to 80 percent and fully covers Part B coinsurance or co-payments. This plan also pays for 100 percent of Part B coinsurance or co-payments, except for co-payments of up to $20 for some office visits. Plan N also covers up to $50 co-payments for emergency room visits as long as they do not result in inpatient admissions.
Why is a Medicare supplement plan necessary?
Most people do not realize the importance of having a Medicare supplement plan. However, with the following reasons, you will get to know its significance
- When original Medicare pays, the Medicare supplements step in to pay for most or even all the remaining Medicare-approved charges.
- You can renew Medicare supplements for life as long as you pay the premiums. Here there is no such thing as lifetime maximums, and the policy holder cannot be canceled due to high-dollar or frequent claims.
- The benefits of the plan are "locked," which means they never change throughout the policy's life.
How to apply for a Medicare supplement plan
It is worth noting that not all Medicare supplement plans work the same way. Before you start the application process, it is nice you do your research well and compare different plans within your area. You can compare and shop plans here. Once you are comfortable with your choice, the following is how you can apply:
- Make use of Medicare plan finder
- Visit the plan's website to determine if you can join online
- Once you have everything in order, proceed to fill an enrollment form. You can contact the plan for the enrollment form, fill it out and return it once you are done. Note that all programs should have this option.
As a pre-caution, do not let anyone into your home who might pretending to be sell Medicare products. There are many scams out there, and the last thing you need is to fall victim to the same.
Your health is of significance, and as you get older, you realize how crucial it is to have the right Medicare supplement plan.
Keep in mind that there are several plans that you can choose from, and it entirely depends on your specific needs. Before you decide which one is perfect, it is always good to do research and make an informed decision. At an older age, the last thing you need is the inconvenience of settling for a plan that does not suit you. Not only is it a waste of funds, but may also have significant impacts on your health.