by Russell Noga | Updated May 12th, 2023
Some people may wonder if they have Medicare, why would they need or want a supplemental plan. We are going to explain how Medicare works and why a supplemental plan would be a wise choice.
Medicare is also called Original Medicare and is regulated by the government to assist seniors with their healthcare expenses.
- Medicare Part A covers your hospital costs, nursing facility care, hospice, and some home health care.
- Medicare Part B covers your physician visits, medical supplies, outpatient services, and preventative care.
Medicare Advantage (Part C)
Medicare Advantage is a plan that includes Original Medicare and offers other services. The same coverage of Medicare Part A and Part B are within the Medicare Advantage Plan and the other services offered can be vision, dental visits, hearing aids, and prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans do have some disadvantages, such as having to typically remain in a network, and prior authorization needed for some services which could result in denied claims.
Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage
There are some negatives associated with Medicare Advantage plans, which include:
- The list of in-network doctors and specialists with a Medicare Advantage plan is only a small percentage of what’s available with Original Medicare and a Medigap plan (Which is the entire country)
- With a Medicare Advantage plan you might be required to get a referral or what is called prior authorization, depending on which plan you have.
- If you wish to return to Original Medicare and a supplement plan after 12 months of enrollment in an Advantage plan, you will be required to go through medical underwriting and may not be approved.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
If you only Have Original Medicare and you want to have your prescription drugs also covered, then you would enroll in a Medicare Prescription Part D plan.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans may already have this included and you would need to find the plan that would have this benefit.
How Medicare Supplement Plans Work
Medicare Supplement Plans help pay the remaining costs left over after Medicare pays its share. These costs can be coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments.
Your Medigap Plan that you chose may also have coverage for foreign travel emergency costs.
Compare Medicare Plans & Rates in Your Area
What is the Best Medicare Supplement Plan for 2024?
Finding the Medicare Supplement Plan that is right for you may seem daunting. You will need to consider several factors when deciding which plan is best for you.
The medical issues you have and to choose a plan that will take care of those
How much you are willing to pay for the monthly premiums and if it works within your budget
In your area there will be certain insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement Plans. You will need to find a company that is responsible and has good customer service
While there are 10 different plan letters to choose from, many people enroll in just one of three different plans. These are the most popular and provide comprehensive coverage with relatively low premiums.
Medicare Plan F
Medicare Plan G
Medicare Plan N
Medicare Supplement Plan F: An Overview
Medicare Supplement Plan F, often simply referred to as Plan F, is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans available to beneficiaries of Medicare. Offering the most comprehensive coverage among the Medigap plans, it’s been a popular choice for those seeking to minimize out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
What is Medicare Plan F?
Medicare Plan F is designed to bridge the “gap” between what Original Medicare covers and the costs you’d otherwise have to pay out of pocket. To be eligible for Plan F, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. Please note that as of January 1, 2020, Plan F is no longer available to new Medicare enrollees. However, if you were eligible for Medicare before that date, you may still be able to purchase Plan F.
What does Medigap Plan F Cover?
Medigap Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage compared to other Medigap plans. It covers all the gaps in Original Medicare, including Part A hospital and hospice coinsurance, Part A and B deductibles, Part B excess charges, skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, and the first three pints of blood each year.
Additionally, Plan F covers 80% of foreign travel emergency costs up to plan limits. This makes it an excellent choice for beneficiaries who travel frequently. In essence, with Plan F, your out-of-pocket costs for Medicare-approved services and treatments could be zero, providing a high level of predictability for your healthcare budget.
Medicare Supplement Plan F Cost
The cost of Medicare Plan F can vary significantly based on several factors. These factors include your location, age, gender, and sometimes, your health status. While Plan F typically has higher premiums than other Medigap plans due to its extensive coverage, many beneficiaries find the predictability of costs and the peace of mind it brings to be worth the investment.
Medicare Plan F is a comprehensive solution for those seeking to minimize their out-of-pocket healthcare expenses if you qualify to enroll in it. With the higher monthly premium though, it’s worth it to take a look at the other two very popular Medigap plans that are far less expensive, yet still provide very comprehensive coverage. Those are Plan G and Plan N.
Medicare Supplement Plan G – A Great Alternative to Plan F
Medicare Supplement Plan G, often referred to as Plan G, is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policies designed to help beneficiaries manage the costs not covered by Original Medicare. Known for its comprehensive coverage, Plan G has become a popular choice for many looking to secure peace of mind with their healthcare costs.
What is Medicare Plan G?
Medicare Plan G is a Medigap policy that complements your Original Medicare benefits. This plan aims to fill the “gaps” left by Medicare Part A and Part B, including copayments, coinsurance, and excess charges. To be eligible for Plan G, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare Plan G Coverage
Plan G offers extensive coverage, second only to Plan F in terms of the breadth of coverage among Medigap policies. It covers the Part A deductible, Part A hospital and hospice coinsurance, skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, and the first three pints of blood each year. With MedicarePart B, you get coverage for coinsurance, excess charges, and preventive care coinsurance.
The only notable difference between the coverage provided by Plan G and Plan F is that Plan G does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible. Beyond this, Plan G offers the additional benefit of covering 80% of foreign travel emergency healthcare services up to plan limits, making it an ideal choice for those with a taste for travel.
Plan G is less expensive than Plan F, often making it worth it to pay the Part B deductible yourself each year and save quite a bit of money.
Medigap Plan G Cost
The cost of Medigap Plan G can vary based on several factors, including your location, age, and sometimes health status. It’s also important to note that while all Plan G policies offer the same standard coverage, they are not all priced the same. Different insurance companies may charge different premiums for Plan G, so it’s crucial to allow us to shop the rates from all the top companies. Our service is entirely FREE.
Although Plan G’s premiums may be higher than other Medigap plans with less coverage, many beneficiaries find the comprehensive coverage and peace of mind it provides to be worth the cost. Plan G offers a balance of coverage and cost, making it a compelling choice for those seeking to minimize out-of-pocket healthcare expenses while having predictable healthcare costs.
Many insurance companies offer household discounts for their Medicare Supplement plans as well.
Some Companies offering discounts are:
- Mutual of Omaha
- Blue Cross (EFT discount)
Medicare Supplement Plan N
Medicare Supplement Plan N, commonly known as Plan N, is one of the standardized Medigap insurance policies that aims to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare coverage. With a balanced blend of affordability and coverage, Plan N has become a viable option for many Medicare beneficiaries.
What is Medicare Plan N?
Medicare Plan N is a supplemental insurance plan that works in conjunction with Medicare Part A and Part B. It assists in covering certain costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. To be eligible for Plan N, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare Plan N Benefits
Plan N provides a range of coverage, making it an attractive option for those seeking comprehensive coverage at a lower premium than some other Medigap plans. It covers Part A hospital coinsurance and costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted. It also takes care of Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment and the first three pints of blood used in a medical procedure.
Additionally, Plan N covers skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, Part A deductible, and Part B coinsurance (except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission). Like many Medigap plans, Plan N also covers 80% of foreign travel emergency healthcare services up to plan limits.
Medicare Supplement Plan N Reviews
Medicare Supplement Plan N has generally received positive reviews for its balanced approach to coverage and cost. Users appreciate the lower premiums compared to plans with more extensive coverage, like Plan F or G, making it a cost-effective choice for those in good health.
However, beneficiaries must be comfortable with the idea of paying for the Part B deductible and potential copayments for certain office and emergency room visits. Therefore, while Plan N may have lower premiums, it could result in higher out-of-pocket costs depending on your healthcare usage.
Finding the Right Coverage
We’ve been helping people with their Medicare insurance for over 15 years. In that time we’ve helped tens of thousands of people enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, and we often hear stories from our clients of how incredibly grateful they were to have a supplement in place due to medical conditions.
We can help find a plan that fits your needs best, for the lowest cost. And we’ll check your rates and coverage each year to make sure you stay in the best spot.
Call us today, we’d love to help you as well.
Russell Noga is the CEO of Medisupps.com, an online Medicare Agency and resource center helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medigap and Part D drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans since 2009. Russell is licensed in all 50 states and has been featured as a keynote speaker, and author of several publications, along with hosting the very popular Medisupps.com Youtube channel.