While there are ten different Medigap Plans to choose from that are offered by Medicare and private insurance companies, there really are just a few that most people choose. Knowing the differences of the benefits of each of these, combined with comparing the monthly premiums of them, will help you make the best educated decision in choosing a plan. Of course combined with our help we make the process incredibly easy!
What are Medigap Plans?
Medigap plans are a type of insurance that comes from Medicare and sold through private insurance companies that use federal Medicare guidelines. Medicare enrollees are not able to get a Medigap policy unless you also have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medigap plans will only cover a single person, and there are not any joint policies, so married couples are going to need two different policies. Medigap plans are unable to be used with a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Even though Medigap Plans are issued by a private insurance company, the plans will have been standardized. There are 10 Medigap plans, with the exception of 3 states. These plans are Medigap Plans:
- Plan A
- Plan B
- Plan C
- Plan D
- Plan F
- Plan G
- Plan K
- Plan L
- Plan M
- Plan N
These have been standardized so that Plan K in California will have the same coverage as Plan K in Colorado. Even though the insurance companies will be different, the plans are the same, and the prices may be different.
There are only 3 states that will provide different standardized Medigap plans:
Paying for Coverage
If you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B as well as a Medigap plan, then you will have to pay two premiums. One is going to be your Medigap plan premium, and the other is Medicare Part B premiums. This is also assuming that you are getting Medicare Part A for free. Medicare Part B will be taken from your social security check, but the Medigap plan will be paid to the private insurance company that provides you with the coverage.
Traditional Medicare and Medigap plans will not cover prescription medications, so you will need to purchase a Medicare Part D plan. This is a separate policy that will come with a different premium. There are some plans for Medigap coverage that may have been purchased before 2006 that have limited underwriting for prescription medications. However, Medigap coverage will no longer carry coverage for prescription medications, and it will not include outpatient prescription coverage.
The purpose of a Medigap plan is to cover parts of all of the costs that traditional Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover and that you would need to pay out of pocket for. There are some cases where a Medigap plan was designed to cover out of pocket costs for Medicare expenses. Not to mention the parts that Medicare does not cover that you have to pay in full for. The Medigap plan will not include services like vision or dental.
Traditional Medicare Part A and Part B both have coinsurance and deductibles. Once you have met your deductible, Medicare Part B will only cover 80% of the cost, which leaves you to pay the remaining 20%, and there is not any limit for out of pocket costs.
Medicare Part A will have a deductible that must be met for each insurance period, but then starts as coinsurance after you have spent 60 days at the hospital. Even though this is called coinsurance, it is just a fixed amount per day instead of you paying a percentage of the costs.
Medicare Part A will also have coinsurance costs for a stay at a nursing facility that is over 20 days long. This was $171 per day, starting on Day 21. However, this cost is expected to increase to $178 per day. Just like with Medicare Part B, you will have out of pocket expenses that have no limit cap. A Medigap plan will protect you from deductibles and coinsurance costs because they can bridge the gap that is in your Medicare coverage.
Medigap Plan C, Plan D, Plan F, Plan G, Plan K, Plan L, Plan M, and Plan N will pay for some of the costs for skilled nursing. At the same time, Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N will cover any emergency services while you are out of the country. Additionally, Plans F and Plan G are able to cover additional costs for your doctor that could be charged through your Medicare Part B coverage. However, any Medigap plan that is purchased will come with hospice benefits.
Medigap Plan C and Plan F will take care of the deductible of $190 for Medicare Part B, which is expected to go to $200 this year. According to the terms of the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), after the end of 2019, the eligible Part B deductible Medigap program will no longer be open to new participants. The purpose of this is to ensure that the medical insurance insured person has “skin in the game,” and must pay at least part of their own expenses when they need outpatient care and when they need outpatient care, rather than providing additional insurance of the first dollar. Those who already have the first Medigap insurance will be able to retain the insurance after 2019, but new insured members who join Medicare cannot purchase this plan.
Medigap Plan F is a very comprehensive plan and very popular among the participants in the Medigap plan, but it is also often the most expensive in the Medigap plan (the carrier sets the price on its own, so although the benefits are standardized, the price may One carrier varies). According to AHIP analysis, as of 2016, more than half of all Medigap registrants have Plan F. However, Plan G quickly became a popular alternative as it covers everything covered by Plan F, except Part B deductibles. It will continue to be offered to new entrants, which is not the case for Plan F. Thus, the pricing of Plan F It may start to increase over time and speed up as newly qualified young participants cannot purchase the Medigap Plan F.
Some of the Most Popular Plans
Medicare Supplement plans are designated by letters. These are letters A – N. The coverage for each letter is slightly different, and the benefits do not get greater as you move through the letters of the alphabet. For instance, Medicare Supplement plan F has the most benefits while Plan N has less.
The most important factor you need to realize when it comes to these plans is that they are standardized by the government. Each company has the exact same Plan F, or Plan G, or any letter. The benefits are identical within each letter from company to company. The premiums, however, differ greatly for exactly the same coverage! That is why it’s extremely important to get quotes from multiple carriers to see who has the lowest premiums in your area.
Here we’ll be explaining some of the most popular Medigap plans which are Plan F, G, and N. The chart listed below shows you the difference of benefits between these and the other plans available. All Medigap plans offer basic benefits that include items such as Part A hospital coinsurance, Part B coinsurance which pays 80% of Medicare approved outpatient services, a blood deductible which pays for the first three pints of blood each year, and Part A coinsurance for hospice care.
Medicare Supplement Plan F
To enroll in a Medicare Plan F you must have had both Part A and B Medicare prior to January 1st of 2020.
Plan F offers the most coverage of any of the plans available. This plan pays 100 percent of the coverage gaps of Medicare Part A and B. This plan pays the Part A and B deductible for you, pays all Medicare Part B excess charges, all Part A hospital coinsurance, and the additional Part B 20 percent coinsurance.
With Plan F there are:
- No Deductibles to pay
- No Coinsurance to pay
- No Co-payments
So it’s easy to see why this is the most popular Medicare supplement plan. For anyone just wanting to show their cards at the doctor, go home and never get a medical bill then Plan F is the best way to go. It is also the highest priced plan so be sure to get multiple quotes on our website to see who has the lowest rates.
Medicare Supplement Plan G
Plan G is very similar to Plan F except for one small difference. On Plan G you must first pay the annual Part B deductible out-of-pocket before Medicare will begin paying the 80 percent coinsurance. After you meet this deductible Plan G is identical to Plan F is that it pays 100 percent of the gaps. There is no other difference between the two plans, other than monthly premium. Plan G is priced less than Plan F and in almost all cases can end up saving you money even after you pay this deductible yourself.
For this reason Plan G is becoming increasingly popular. After all, who doesn’t like saving money? We highly recommend that you compare the quotes of both Plan F and G using our free quote engine to see just how much you can save.
Medicare Supplement Plan N
Medigap Plan N is a newer plan that was introduced in 2010. Because of it’s low premiums and great coverage it is becoming very popular, particularly for people who are very healthy or coming off a Medicare Advantage plan. This plan has lower premiums than both F and G, yet does have some additional out-of-pocket expenses that are possible.
With Plan N you still pay the Part B annual deductible ($183 is 2017). The following expenses also apply to Plan N:
- After the Part B deductible is met you might have a small co-pay per doctor’s visit, which will never exceed $20. There could be no co-pay, it just depends on what you visit the doctor for.
- If you visit the emergency room with Plan N and you’re not admitted you must pay a $50 co-pay
- Plan N does not cover Part B excess charges. These might occur if your doctor does not accept the assigned rates from Medicare. It’s been estimated that over 90% of doctors in this country do in fact take assignment so these could be very rare
Plan N offers outstanding coverage for lower premiums, however if you are considering this plan it’s best to compare the rates in your area for Plan N against Plan G. If the premiums are fairly close it might be wise to consider Plan G and not have to worry about any additional co-pays or expenses. Enter your zip code at the top of this page to get instant, online quotes for Plan F, G, and N.
What are the Best Plans?
Do you actually know what you need from a supplemental coverage plan? Do you need tons of coverage or just a little? You will have to examine the plans to get a good idea as to what they are offering and which plan you can use. Compare Medicare Supplement plans to make the most of what they provide.
This will include inspecting each of the plans individually. Every one of them has something different and unique to offer you, and you won’t know what that is until you look at them carefully. There are both low-coverage and high-coverage plans available- ten in all. The high-coverage plans take care of most supplementary expenses. This can include copayments, nursing care, hospice care, deductibles, pints of blood, excess charges and healthcare given in emergency situations outside the US.
You may need some or all of these items covered, but your final choice may come down to what you can afford. While you may want to have the deductibles all covered, you may not be able to afford Plan F or another plan that takes care of the expenses you deem to be essential. You might have to make concessions and pay for something out of your pockets. But do keep in mind that you can compare not only coverage between plans but also the rates between the same plans.
The different insurance companies that sell these plans all have their own different rates. If you don’t like the price one is asking for the plan you are seeking, then look elsewhere. You may still be able to afford the plan you want, but it may require some extra effort from you.
Just be sure to always compare Medigap plans now or any other year you are looking to sign up for a supplemental plan. Comparing gives you the knowledge you need to make the most of the plans available. You won’t know which plan is right for you and how much coverage each plan offers until you get a good look at them. But you need to do more than just memorize the different coverage items each plan has. You also need to examine how they measure up to what you need from a coverage plan.
Every Medicare subscriber needs to make sure they are keeping their needs at the forefront of their mind. It may be nice to pick out a supplemental coverage plan that takes care of all supplemental medical expenses. But that kind of coverage could be a far cry from what you actually need. You could be being wasteful with your coverage and your money, and it’s usually a better idea to just get the bare necessities covered.
Those would be the medical expenses that are very large or that appear often on your medical bills. These are why you compare Medigap plans and why you look for savings wherever you can find them. Get a plan that fits you like a glove, covering just what you need it to. Then you will be saving as much money as you possibly can.
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