Medicare supplements, also known as Medigap plans, fill in the gaps of Original Medicare Part A & B. This is necessary because Part A & B don’t even cover 80%, but more importantly, they don’t offer a limit on the out-of-pocket costs that you may incur. Paying 20% of a small doctor bill isn’t going to break the bank, but 20% of a large hospital likely will. Therefore, many Medicare beneficiaries will select a Medicare Supplement plan to act as their secondary insurance with Original Medicare as the primary coverage.
As we’ll see below, there are many plans to choose from, but ALL Medicare Supplements offer the following:
Federally Standardized – The government requires that a Plan G offered by one company must be exactly the same coverage as Plan G offered by any other company. The only difference is the price of the plan, the stability of that price, and the experience of doing business with that company. Don’t be fooled by pretty logos into paying more for identical coverage, but don’t just choose the cheapest company either because you may not be able to change in the future if your health doesn’t qualify.
No Networks – When you have a Medicare Supplement plan as your secondary insurance, you do not have to worry about networks and getting referrals like you likely will on Medicare Advantage plans. Since Original Medicare Part A & B is still your primary insurance. Your Supplement plan will be accepted at ANY doctor who accepts Medicare. This is very cut and dry. No doctor/hospital is allowed to accept Medicare but chose to accept one Supplement over any other. Since upwards of 90% of doctors/hospitals in our country do accept Medicare, this gives you tons of freedom to see the doctors you want to see whether they are in Indiana or Florida.
There are several different plans to choose from within the Medicare Supplement category. Although the chart below may seem rather intimidating, its actually rather simple to narrow it down to just a few different plans.
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Most Popular Plans: F, G, N
Medicare Supplement Plan F – Plan F covers all the Part A/B deductible and coinsurance, giving you nearly 100% coverage. It is the most comprehensive of all the supplement plans and had been the most popular plan until the government closed this plan off to new members on January 1, 2020. If you are new to Medicare, this is no longer an option for you to select unless you turned age 65 before 1/1/2020.
Medicare Supplement Plan G -Plan G is nearly identical to the Plan F described above, with one exception. On a Plan G you will pay the Part B deductible of $203 per year before your Plan G kicks in to cover the remaining 20%. Now that Plan F has closed off to new members, the Plan G is the most popular plan because it offers the highest coverage of all the supplements for a very competitive price.
Medicare Supplement Plan N -Plan N is one level of coverage down from the Plan G and can be a good deal for very healthy people. On a Plan N, you still have the $203 Part B yearly deductible and you also have a small co-pay of up to $20 at the doctor and up to $50 at the ER. Therefore, its lower premium is attractive to people who are not going to the doctor very frequently. A drawback of Plan N is that it doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B excess charges. This means that the doctor can decide to bill you 15% higher that Medicare will allow and your Plan N will make you pay the difference.
Ok, so which one is best? As with most things Medicare related, there is no one-sized-fits-all best plan, but we are seeing the majority of new Medicare beneficiaries select the Medicare Supplement Plan G due to it having the highest level of coverage eligible to them and very competitive pricing.
When you call us at (800) 970-1964, we can go over the Medicare Supplement rates in your area as they vary widely across the country as well as by other factors like age, sex, tobacco usage, and more. Beyond just price shopping, an important consideration here is the stability of the company as well. Rates will go up slightly every year, just like everything else, but over the last 30 years we’ve seen some companies outperform all the others when it comes to maintaining stable rates. You also want a company that has a good history of customer service and paying its claims. All of our experience and expertise as just a phone call away. As always, our service is 100% free and we represent over 80 different insurance companies.