Medicare Supplement refers to different private health insurance policies sold directly to supplement Medicare, either through an employer-sponsored program or as an independent strategy for choosing the best Medicare option. These policies are designed to fill the gaps left behind by regular Medicare coverage and provide complete, long-term coverage for services not covered by Medicare. Some of the more popular Medicare Supplement policies are from Aetna, Humana, Delta, Assurant, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare Part D Medicare, Fortis, Genesis, Medigap, Advantage, and Cigna. Each of these companies offer different Medicare Supplement options, so it is important to understand the differences between them before deciding on which one is right for you.
Open enrollment periods are often a confusing feature for Medicare Supplement policies. While some policies offer standardized open enrollment periods, others have variable open enrollment periods that vary according to the Medicare Part B deductible. The most common Medicare Supplement policy that offers open enrollment is Medicare Part A, also known as Part D. This is a Medicaid program. Part D covers many of the same services as Medicare, including outpatient hospital visits, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and certain durable medical equipment. Medicare Part A and Part B both cover different services, with Medicare A running alongside Medicare Part A, and Part B alongside Medicare Part B.
In order for Medicare Supplement insurance plans to work, the Medicare Parts must be identical. There are two differences between these two programs. The first is that Medicare Part A doesn’t cover dental care, and Medicare Part B does pay a Medicare Part A deductible. The second difference is that Medicare Supplement plans do not have an annual cap on premiums. Unlike Medicare Parts A and B, there are no annual deductibles.
The key feature to Medicare Supplement policies is that they are standardized, and are not “one size fits all.” You can choose which Medigap plan you like best by simply comparing plans side by side from a top ranked provider. Some providers offer several Medicare Supplement plans, at different rates, and some even offer plans exclusively for selected demographics. Medicare Supplement Plan coverage helps make sure that everyone who needs medical care has access to the service area that best suits their medical needs.
For example, Medicare Supplement Plan F helps pay for skilled nursing care in skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and hospitals. Medicare Supplement Plan J helps pay for hospital outpatient care. Medicare Supplement Plan K helps pay for inpatient care in long term care hospitals. Medicare Supplement Plan A helps pay for inpatient care in rehabilitation facilities. Each of these plans are standardized according to a specific area of the country, so it helps to compare plans side by side to make sure that you’re choosing the right one for your area.
Medicare Supplement plans do not have deductibles. That means if you have Medicare already, and you would like to join Medicare Supplement Plan A, you won’t need to increase your existing deductible. This saves money because you’ll only have to pay a one time, flat rate deductible. You will, however, need to look closely at the Medicare supplement plans that you’re considering to make sure that they cover everything you need.