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What is a Medicare Supplement?
Medicare Supplement or "Medigap" insurance is made to supplement or "fill the gaps" of Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Original Medicare has high deductibles, copays and coinsurances, and these plans help you avoid any large medical bills. A beneficiary must be enrolled in both Parts A & B to apply.
Medigap policies must follow federal and state laws, and they must be identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Insurance companies can only sell you standardized policies identified in most states by letters A through D, F through G, and K through N.
Medicare Supplements are standardized to be the same between companies. This means that a Plan G is a Plan G, no matter where you purchase it. It is almost akin to buying a brand-name product at a grocery store; it does not matter which grocery store you go to, you still will be purchasing the same brand name product. The only difference is that you will pay a different price dependent on where it was purchased!
Why Medicare Supplements?
Medicare Supplements work for those who are looking to pay a reasonable monthly premium for comprehensive hospital and medical coverage. The right Medicare Supplement plan can cover all of your hospital and medical bills except for a low yearly deductible. This results in full freedom within the Medicare network, no copays, and no coinsurance. You will have piece of mind knowing that you are covered for virtually anything, anywhere in the United States.
What Are The Most Popular Plans?
The most popular Medicare Supplement plans currently are Plans G and N.
Plan G requires meeting the Part B deductible ($240 for 2024), and then any covered service that Medicare does not pay in full is paid by the Plan G. For clients that are looking for the most comprehensive service and bang for their buck, Plan G is the answer.
Plan N is similar to Plan G, but requires up to a $20 copay at the physician and up to a $50 copay at the ER, and does not cover Part B excess charges. For those that do not use provider services often, this can be of a great savings. Some Plan N premiums fall up to $30 a month less than the Plan G. If you are not using the doctor every month, this can create significant savings. For those frequent fliers, or those using specialists that may charge excess, this may not be the right choice.
What If I Have Medicare Due To Disability?
Plan D is the only supplement offered to those on Medicare under 65 due to disability. It does offer comprehensive benefits, minus coverage of the Part B excess and Part B deductible. The premium is comparable to the plan G, but can increase at different rates. For those beneficiaries who started Medicare prior to 2020, the Plan C disability supplement is also available. For a comparatively higher premium, the Plan C covers each gap within original Medicare except the Part B Excess. Those over 65 can still purchase these plans, but it may not be cost beneficial.
How Much Does The Price Of Medicare Supplements Increase?
With most Medicare supplement plans the rate will go up each year, but Medicare Supplement plans increase their rates at different amounts based on a multitude of factors. Remember, all Medicare supplement plan benefits are identical between companies; so the biggest difference is the price of the plan and the rate at which it increases. Due to marketing costs, operational costs, and brand recognition, some companies may charge more for the same product, and charge more for it over time. Based on how each company labels themselves, Community Rated or Attained Age, they may be able to increase your rate based on the health of the community around you rather than just your age. Because of popularity, the number beneficiaries joining a company's plan potentially allows the rates to stay lower longer. Those companies that do not have enough enrollment may have to raise the rate to upkeep claim payments or stop offering the plan in that state. Because rate increases can be complex, please contact us for more detailed information.