Medicare offers a number of different ways for seniors to be covered for their medical expenses. The basic Medicare plan is one that most people are familiar with, and it includes Medicare Part A and Part B, which covers most common medical expenses. Medicare plans for 2019 can include a lot of the coverage options beyond just this basic plan, and we want to discuss some of those options with you.
Medigap Plans in 2019
This is the the commonly subscribed to Medicare-type plan beyond the basic Medicare plan. It’s not actually sold by Medicare and can only be found through private insurance companies. It goes by the name Medicare Supplemental, and it covers you for all sorts of different medical expenses.
Which expenses are covered depends on which of the 10 Medigap plans you choose. Each one has its own coverage, strengths and weaknesses. Plans F covers the whole set of supplemental expense, including copayments, excess charges, blood use, deductibles, nursing care and foreign travel costs for emergency medical transport.
Plan G is another Medigap plan, and it is very popular. It’s actually the Medigap plan that most people sign up for these days. It will cover you for a lot of the same stuff as Plan F does, but it won’t cover the Part B deductible for you. That is something you would have to pay for on your own.
Plan N is yet another popular Medigap plan and another one that covers a majority of the expenses for you. It will cover all the items as the previous two plans, except for a few minor charges. It’s one we often recommend to seniors since it can save them a lot of money when they have numerous medical expenses to pay, even after basic Medicare has provided coverage for them.
Medigap is something you can only sign up for if you have a Medicare Original plan. Once you are eligible for that original plan, though, you are then eligible for Medigap as well. You can only sign up for one of the Medigap plans at once, and you can’t use it with some other medical insurance plans, as there can be no overlap between your coverage plans, even for something minor.
Medigap is ideal for people who get decent coverage from original Medicare but need a bit extra for various expenses. Compare what the Medigap plans are offering you to what your needs are to see if one of them lines up. You can also compare the prices on Medigap plans and get a good deal without sacrificing any coverage. The coverage stays the same regardless of how much you are paying for your Medigap plan, so take that into consideration as you are shopping around for the best option.
Medicare Advantage Plans 2019
With the Advantage plans, you get a bundle of coverage that includes Original Medicare as well as some extra coverage items. With these kinds of Medicare plans for 2019, you can be covered for prescription drug costs and various common medical expenses, but what exactly the plan covers will depend on the insurance provider and what they decided to include in their Medicare Advantage plan.
This is also known as Medicare Part C, and you can find it at private insurance companies rather than through Medicare itself. That means that the price will change from one provider to the next, and the coverage can too. You have to be careful about which provider you go with, as you could easily lose out on some good coverage and a good rate if you just go with the first Advantage plan you see.
Medicare Advantage plans often include some of the same coverage as many Medigap plans, which means that you cannot be signed up for both of them at the same time. Remember that no overlap is allowed between any kind of Medicare plan, and that includes ones that are sold by private insurance companies. They still fall under the Medicare umbrella, and that means they are subject to Medicare’s regulations.
Medicare Part D
Part D is the prescription drug part of Medicare. It can be attached onto many of the plans, including the Original Medicare plan, Medigap plans and even some Medicare Advantage plans. Remember that we said that Medicare Advantage may include prescription drug coverage. We were talking about Part D there. So, some insurance companies that sell Medicare Advantage plans may include Part D in their Advantage plan. If you sign up for one of those, then you can’t sign up for Part D separately on top of that, and you would not need to. Pay attention to what you already have as far as medical coverage and what you plan to sign up for before you agree to any new plan. You may already have the coverage you are wanting to get and just not realize it yet.
Part D covers a variety of prescription drug costs, but it won’t cover all of them. There will still be drugs that you could get that you would have to pay for partially or completely on your own. How much Part D covers on any given drug will depend on the company that is selling it and how they have their Part D plan set up. All Part D plans include a few different tiers of coverage. So, in the highest tier, the specified drugs would be completely covered. There will be a tier of coverage lower than that where drugs are mostly covered. Below that will be a tier where drugs are only partially covered, and so on and so forth until you get to drugs that are not covered at all under that particular plan. Pay attention to what is and is not covered before you sign up for any Part D plan.
These are the most common Medicare plans for 2019 that people will sign up for. You should be aware of them and how they relate to your own medical needs. One or more of them may be necessary to help you save as much money as possible on your healthcare costs.