Did you know that you have more coverage options for healthcare than just the basic Medicare plan? In fact, all those expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover for you can be taken care of by Medigap.
This supplemental plan is so named for its ability to fill gaps that are left behind by Medicare’s basic plan. You may think that Medicare would cover you fairly well for your medical expenses, and it does, but for many people, there are lots of additional expenses to pay out of pocket. That’s why so many of them choose Medigap plans. These attach onto their existing coverage and provide additional cover for deductibles, blood, hospital expenses and more.
How Covered Are You Going to Be?
It’s really up to you to decide how much coverage you want. There are 10 different Medigap plans, and there is something different in coverage with each of them. You don’t get the same coverage from any single plan, though they do overlap in a lot of ways, so you won’t be able to sign up for more than one at once. You just have to pick the one that you think will fit you best and go with that. You can always change your plan later, if you change your mind about it or your needs happen to change over time.
The coverage varies from one plan to the next, but you can count on them all taking their coverage from a single list of supplementary items. These are essentially expenses that are Part of Medicare Part A and Part B but that are not covered under the basic Medicare plan. That basic plan only covers 80% of Part A and Part B expenses, and it is up to the supplementary plans to cover some or all of the remaining 20%.
The coverage could include your Part A and Part B co-payments. These are considered two separate items, so not all of the plans are going to cover them both the same way.
Your Part A and Part B deductibles can be covered by Medigap plans as well. These are common expenses, but Part B is only covered by two of the plans. Most of the plans will cover Part A’s deductible, at least in part. You will see partial coverage with a lot of these plans, as they appeal to a wide range of people. Not everyone wants to pay for full coverage or can afford to do so.
You can be covered as well for the Medicare Part B excess charges, but that’s something that will probably only be charged to you once in a great while, so not many of the supplement plans will cover it.
Further coverage is available for foreign travel exchange, for blood usage, for nursing care coinsurance and for hospital expenses. Some plans will cover these extensively, while others will only cover you partially or not at all for each of these.
It’s up to you to look at what Medigap offers and determine which one will cover you the best. There are probably only two or three plans that would be decent options for you.
The Most Popular Plans
We won’t get into each and every one of the plans here. You can do that yourself at your leisure, but we are going to cover the few most popular plans. These are the ones that most people will sign up for, but that’s no guarantee that all insurance companies will carry them.
So, most people prefer the high coverage plans, simply because they like to have most medical expenses covered by their insurance plan. That way, they don’t need to worry much about whether their healthcare will be covered or not. They can expect their coverage plan to take care of them for most expenses.
The high coverage plans that most people go for are plans F, G and N. If you look closely at their coverage, you will see that they are all quite similar. Plan F is the big one, covering you for all supplementary expenses. Plan G comes in second, but it’s a close second. The only thing it does cover you for from that list of items we just went over is the Medicare Part B deductible. You will pay $183 out of pocket every time for that expense (2017 figure)
Plan N comes in third out of these three, and it will cover you for all that we mentioned up above except for a couple of small copayments, the Part B excess charges, and that same Part B deductible that Plan G doesn’t cover.
Do you think any of these will work well for you? While most people do sign up for one of these three, they are really best suited for people who have severe medical problems and who would need to be treated regularly for their conditions. They have lots of expenses they’re currently paying out of pocket and would need to have a lot of those covered in order to get the best value from their insurance plan. That may not be your situation, and you should carefully consider what your best option is.
Why Plan Now?
So, why are we urging people to start looking into Medicare supplement plans? Well if you’re reaching retirement in 3-5 years it may seem too early to start worrying about coverage that far in the future. But we think it’s wise to plan ahead, especially when it comes to medical coverage. The plans stay pretty stable, and you can look at what’s available now and get good idea as to whether there will be Medicare supplement plans you can use or not.
Medigap can provide the kind of coverage that keeps you from paying a lot out of pocket for healthcare, but you will need to pick the right plan. To make sure that you do that, we suggest looking now at the Medigap plans and picking yours out, comparing prices for it and settling on the most suitable coverage for your future.
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