Medicare Supplement insurance helps to pay a portion of your Medicare out-of-pocket expenses not covered by the Medicare Plan; including deductibles, coinsurance, and payment amounts for non-medical items or services. Medicare Supplement insurance also pays for certain hospital or other medical services not paid for through Medicare that are covered by another insurance plan. It is not meant to replace Medicare. In order to get the maximum benefits from Medicare, you must choose a Medicare Supplement insurance plan that covers the same Medicare coverage you currently receive under Medicare Parts A and B. With Medicare Supplement insurance, certain gaps in coverage are filled in, at your expense.
You can select a Medicare Supplement plan even when you are still employed by the same company that covered you under Medicare Parts A and B. However, you will be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B as an individual instead of as a member of a group. When enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B, you are covered for 100% of your primary care expenses up to the limit on your entitlement, and the amount of Medicare supplement insurance you pay is the total of those expenses less any applicable deductibles. With Medicare Part A, you are also eligible for certain Medigap policies, and Part B covers Medicare Part A coinsurance and Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance discounts. So, if you change jobs and need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, talk with the human resources department of your new employer to find out about their Medicare options.
If you are unemployed, you may be able to get Medicare supplemental insurance to help pay for your out-of-pocket expenses for nursing home care. Medicare Part B also covers premiums for certain Medicare Advantage Plans (MPAs) at hotels and other accommodations. There are special Medigap policies for long-term care and for people who have disabilities that restrict their ability to work. In addition, Medicare Part A insurance coverage pays the balance of your prescription drug costs. Be sure to understand your Medicare Part A and Part B quote carefully, and ask lots of questions so that you understand how the plans and deductibles affect your Medicare coverage.
Medicare supplement insurance is intended to fill in the gaps left by Medicare coverage. Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most expensive plan, but also the most comprehensive. It provides coverage for the entire hospitalization benefit package – inpatient and outpatient medical care, both inpatient and outpatient care, home health and respite care, physician and surgeon services, and medications. Medicare Supplement Plan J is the least expensive option, but does not cover all the same benefits as the more expensive Medicare Parts A and B plans.
There are several differences between supplemental Medicare supplement insurance policies and the original Medicare program. While all policies provide coverage for some of the covered expenses from the original Medicare program, only some of them cover some of the expenses. Some policies cover the deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for outpatient hospital expenses; some cover the deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for inpatient hospital expenses; some policies cover the deductibles and coinsurance for outpatient surgery and diagnostic tests; and some policies only cover the deductibles and coinsurance for outpatient home health services. You must carefully read the supplement policy descriptions to be sure that the plan will cover all the services that you need to use in qualified medical emergencies. If you are unsure what kinds of services you will be covered for, you should contact a licensed Medicare representative.
Medicare supplement insurance plans are usually selected based on the area of the country that you live in. As you research the different plans and terms, keep in mind that the prices shown are basic benefits offered by each insurance company. The prices can vary dramatically, depending on the company’s reputation, the company’s offerings, and other factors.