Another year is here, and you or your loved one will soon be eligible for Medicare benefits. Most people who turn 65 enroll in Medicare to help them with their health care expenses. It has parts A and B, which are designed to cover most of your inpatient hospital costs and about 80% approved outpatient costs. With that said, it is obvious that Medicare does not cover 100% of your approved expenses leaving you with a hefty amount of out-of-pocket costs.
Another way to help you pay the remaining amount of health care costs is Medicare supplement plan, also known as Medigap plans. This 2018, it is important to compare Medicare Supplement plans first before enrolling, because of new updates in coverage and benefits. But how you could do that?
Step 1: Understand Medigap Plans
Before jumping into comparing different plans, make sure that you already have a firm understanding of what Medigap plans are all about.
Medicare supplement plans are also known as Medigap plans and Medicare Supplemental Insurance. It is sold by private insurance companies and helps you pay all or some of the costs that your Original Medicare left or did not cover. Its coverage includes paying for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are also some types of Medigap plans that cover medical care when you travel outside the US.
How do Medicare Supplements work?
Your original Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for your covered health care costs after then your Medicare Supplement will pay its share.
Medigap plans are standardized
Since private companies sell Medigap policies, they must sell you only “standardized” policies that are identified by most states by letters. The Medigap policy must be identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance” and must follow federal and state laws.
Note: all policies offer the same basic benefits, but other types provide additional benefits so you’ll have options to find the one that fits your needs. In Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Medigap policies are standardized differently.
Insurance companies that sell Medigap policies:
→ Can decide which Medigap policies to sell.
→ Don’t have to offer all types of Medigap plans
→ If they offer any Medigap policy, they must offer Medigap Plan A
→ Must also offer Plan C and Plan F if they offer any plan
Step 2: Use the Medicare Supplement Comparison Chart 2018
Compare Medicare supplement plans side by side using an updated comparison chart as of the year you are enrolling. Below is an updated chart that shows the basic coverage of each plan for the year 2018:
Yes = the plan covers 100% of this benefit
No = the policy doesn’t cover that benefit
% = the plan covers that percentage of this benefit
N/A = not applicable
The Medigap policy covers coinsurance only after you’ve paid the deductible (unless the Medigap policy also pays the deductible).
*Plan F is a high deductible plan. If you decide to enroll in this option this 2018, you must pay the Medicare-covered costs up to the deductible amount of $2,240 before Medigap plan works or pay anything.
**The Medigap plan will pay 100% of covered services for the rest of the year once you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and your yearly Part B deductible.
***Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance. A copayment of up to 20% for some office visits and up to 50% copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient admission are not included.
Get your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medicare Supplement Plans when you request a quote now!
Step 3. Check Medicare Supplement quotes online
Now that you have a clearer view of the benefits that each of the plans provides, it is time to take a look at the quotes from different companies. Remember that Medigap plans are standardized, so all the plans are essentially the same and offer the same exact benefits. Plans vary only by the price given by insurance companies which means getting the expensive one might not be a practical decision.
Get the lowest rates by gathering Medicare supplement quotes from various companies. You can easily do this by requesting online instead of calling each of the insurance providers on the phone and get the quotes yourself. Once you get the quotes, dig down which of the provider offers the most reasonable price for the Medigap plan that fit your needs. You can work with the agent who will call you when you request a quote to determine which one is best from a financial point of view. It is best to work with the agent because you have to consider the monthly premiums versus what you will pay for deductibles and any out-of-pocket expenses, which can be confusing and overwhelming if you do it yourself.
Getting a Medicare Supplement plan can be confusing and overwhelming, but taking time to compare plans can help you get the best value for your money and of course, your health.