Original Medicare Part A and Part B cover many healthcare services and hospital bills. However, these plans will not cover all the expenses. You will be asked to pay some charges like coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. This is when supplemental plans become useful. Supplemental plans cover costs that are not paid by Medicare.
For example, Medicare doesn’t cover 20% of emergency care or the first 3-pints of blood. Most people pay these charges out of pocket.
Supplemental plans work with Medicare Part A and Part B. It pays the uncovered 20%. In simpler terms, it fills all the gaps in your Medicare coverage.
Understanding the Plans and Premiums
Medicare Supplement Plans are sold by third-party private insurance companies. You will come across 10 different types of supplemental policies. These plans are both standardized and regulated. The plans have unique features and benefits. Supplemental policies can be identified with an alphabetic letter. The benefits and features of each plan (same letter) are similar in all the states.
For example, Medicare Supplement Plan F remains the same throughout the country. It doesn’t depend on your insurance service provider or location.
Handling the Premiums
Supplemental plans come with fixed premiums. Yet, insurance companies may offer discounts and rewards to make their deal better.
Just like the Original Medicare, you must pay a monthly premium. This is the amount of money you spend on your Medicare supplement plan. Premiums for Medicare plans with better coverage will be expensive. And, premiums will differ between plans and location.
For example, Medicare Supplement Plan A comes with better coverage. That is why Plan A is more expensive than Plan F. Always remember, plans with broader coverage will be expensive!
Some states offer SELECT supplemental plans. These plans make use of provider healthcare networks. When you opt for a SELECT plan, you will pay smaller premiums.
Time is an important factor that decides on the premiums of supplemental plans. If you decide to buy a Medicare supplement plan with guaranteed issue rights, you may have to spend few more dollars. Some insurance companies alter premiums based on the beneficiaries’ health condition.
Before you finalize on a supplemental plan, talk to your insurance service provider. Discuss the premiums, deductibles, and plans.
Typically, you should be aware of all the out-of-pocket charges.