There is a lot more insurance available for your healthcare needs than just what you get from the standard Medicare plan. That plan is just a starting point for all the other coverage plans there. You won’t find this supplemental insurance for Medicare 2018 from Medicare itself. You will have to venture out into the private insurance companies of the world and see what they must offer, but you can take some comfort in knowing that Medicare regulates these plans and ensures some standardization between them.
That means that you can expect the same coverage from one insurance company to the next, regardless of what their premiums cost or how many of the supplement plans they offer. You can pick out one supplement plan from an insurance company and know that Medicare is watching over it and regulating it and ensuring that you always get the standard coverage for that plan.
You can also take comfort in knowing that the coverage on these plans- which is the set of medical expenses they take care of for you- will not change unless Medicare permits it. In fact, only Medicare can change the coverage on these plans, even though it does not sell them.
We are going to look at supplemental insurance and try to help you figure out if you need it and what kind of plan would work best for you.
The Supplemental Coverage
So, there 10 basic supplemental plans. You will find a few versions of some of these, but only 10 basic plans. There have been more plans as well as fewer plans in the past, and Medicare has tweaked its lineup until it arrived at the present set of plans. Not every insurance company has to sell all these plans, and very few of them will offer all 10. So, if you find one that you like by examining its coverage, then you can simply keep going from insurance company to insurance company until you find one that carries the plan you want at a price you like.
Supplemental coverage includes cover for expenses that Medicare’s basic plan leaves for you to pay yourself. That’s the deductibles and copayments for both Medicare Part A and Part B. It also includes the Medicare Part B excess charges.
Supplemental coverage extends to the hospice care that Medicare asks you to pay on your own, if you have a basic Medicare plan. That’s substantial coverage for the supplemental plans for 365 days of hospital care and various expenses.
You can also be covered for foreign travel exchange, up to 80% for each incident. There is a caveat, though- you must pay a deductible first.
Coverage from supplemental insurance includes three pints of blood every year and nursing care coinsurance as well.
You should know that some supplemental plans have an out-of-pocket limit. Others will only cover some of their items for 50% instead of the full amount. There is a lot of variety among the coverage plans that provide you with supplemental insurance for Medicare 2018, so you should be able to find one that works well for your situation.
Choosing the Best Plan
If you look at the Medicare supplement plans closely, you will find plans that provide a lot of coverage and others that only cover a few things. The extensive variety afforded by these plans is enough that anyone should be able to find a suitable plan, but picking the right one can be difficult. There are plans that everyone’s seems to flock to, but just because they are good choices for them does not mean that they will be right for you.
The most popular plan, for example, is Plan G. This high coverage plan takes care of numerous medical expenses. It covers everything listed above except for the Medicare Part B deductible. That’s a ton of coverage, and it may be more than you need. It even covers the Medicare Part B excess charges, which are quite uncommon. Most people will never have to deal with that expense, so having it covered doesn’t make sense, in most cases. Plan N offers similar coverage, but it leaves off the coverage for excess charges and a few minor copayments. That’s a far more reasonable plan for people who need lots of coverage.
Of course, if you only need a little coverage, then none of those high coverage plans will be right for you. They will simply be costing you more than they are giving you value for, and you can spend your money better elsewhere.
You may even find that none of the supplemental plans are right for you. If you just need to pay a few medical expenses after the basic Medicare plan does what it is supposed to do, then supplemental plans may be excessive for you. You should look at them carefully and consider how they compare to your needs before you go for one.
On the other hand, you don’t want to dismiss supplemental plans completely just because you think you may not need one. You won’t know how well they will cover you until you examine each one, and it is worth your time to consider them and see how they compare to your current needs.
Even if you don’t sign up for one this year, you may need one in a few years, and it is worth knowing what they offer and how much they cost.
Finding the right insurance plan to cover your medical expenses may take some work, but that effort is worth it. You can cut your medical care costs and give yourself some peace of mind by being sure you have the right coverage.