Medicare supplement plans get the facts are just one affordable health insurance option available to individuals with Medicare. There are now standardized Medicare supplement insurance programs available which are specifically designed to fill the coverage gaps left behind by original Medicare (Parts A and B). Although these insurance products are not intended to be able to make up for Medicare, they do offer a wide range of coverage which may help protect your Medicare benefits. These insurance products are available in all areas of the country, but some areas have more options than others. For most individuals, however, there is no other option available which can provide as much protection as the additional Medicare supplement plans.
Most of the new Medicare supplement plans focus on two major topics: Part A Medicare and Part B Medicare. The new plans concentrate on covering the most common nursing home services, as well as some prescription drug services. Plans offered by the Centers for Medicare Services focus on covering the more uncommon, more expensive tests and procedures. Although all of the plans focus on extending coverage to a larger number of commonly needed services, there is much more variety in the services covered by each type of plan. Many people qualify for extra benefits when taking Medicare Parts A and B, and because of this additional benefit many people prefer the medigap policy options offered through the Medicare Supplement Plan.
When considering which Medicare supplement plans to purchase, it’s important to take into account both the cost and the coverage provided. It is typically more affordable to select a high-deductible Medicare Advantage plan, which will cover the most common doctor visits and medications, but will also require you to pay a higher deductible. Conversely, if you need medications regularly and have high deductibles then choosing a Medicare Flex Plan will be your best choice. This plan allows you to choose which doctor you prefer and which medications you want covered, but it will also have a lower deductible and thus will require you to spend a lower co-pay.
In contrast, Medicare supplement plans may cover exactly the medications you need, but the premiums will be much higher. The exact medications that are covered by a Medicare Supplement Plan will depend on which plan you choose. There is often no difference in the coverage of different supplemental plans. Most of the plans will only cover the most common physician visits, as opposed to more costly hospital visits. Medications are usually not covered under Medicare Advantage Plans, and prescriptions are typically only covered when you visit an in-network provider.
There are other differences between the programs that you should be aware of. For example, Medicare Supplement Plan F does not accept Medicare Part D medications. Medicare Supplement Plan J is the only plan that will cover all three prescription drugs – those are the Prescription Drug Coverage (Rx) and generic drugs – except for sertraline. Medicare Supplement Plan B, which is similar to Medicare Part D, does not cover Medicare Part D medications. Finally, Medicare Supplement Plan C does not cover emergency room visits or in-patient treatment at a health care facility.
Medicare supplement plans can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. It is important to talk with a representative from each supplement company before deciding on which plan to pursue. Each plan is different, so it is important to understand what you will be receiving with each. Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap policies can also be confusing, but if you understand your choices early on, you’ll be better prepared for what is offered to you in the future.