Medicare Supplement Insurance – A Quick Guide

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans provide coverage for items deemed medically necessary by the government, such as in the case of prescriptions. It was originally designed to fill in the holes left by traditional Medicare coverage. Over time, however, the use of Medicare Supplement Insurance has grown tremendously. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans offered many different types of coverage and benefits, depending on your age, medical history, and projected income, and your employer’s policy.

The most common types of Medigap plans are called “Medigap Standalone” or “Medigap Advantage.” These plans are sold directly by healthcare providers and cover all of the “out-of-pocked” items that would be covered by traditional Medicare. Medicare Supplement Plans, also called “Medigap” plans, will cover items previously paid for under Medicare Parts A and B, but not those items deemed essential by the government. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans is sold by healthcare providers and is usually sold as optional coverages, intended to be purchased by individuals who either cannot afford traditional Medicare coverage, or who choose to supplement their Medicare coverage through an employer who provides it.

What are the “out-of-pocked” items covered in a Medigap Insurance Plan? According to the Medicare guidelines, the three most commonly used items classified as out-of-pocked are: vision care, nursing home care, and durable medical equipment. Although Medicare does not cover hearing aids or dialysis equipment, all other in-pocked items are deemed “essential,” and therefore, required in every plan. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans does not require any item listed above to be provided by the service provider; however, if it is required by your original Medicare program, you will have to pay for it, whether you have it covered through your original Medicare program or Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan.

Are all medical insurance plans created equally? No, but like any insurance policy, there are different coverage options and rates, and the type of coverage can vary among various plans. While all medical insurance plans share a common goal in providing coverage for in-network hospitals and physicians, different plans will also have dissimilar premiums, deductibles, and copays.

How are copays calculated under each Medicare Part A and B program? Each month, your insurer pays a predetermined amount for each medical service that you receive. Medicare Part A, which is tailored for hospitalization, covers the deductibles and coinsurance for in-network hospital stays; Medicare Part B covers the deductibles and coinsurance for in-network physician visits but does not provide coverage for surgical or other hospital expenses. If you select Medicare part A or B, do not expect to get a large amount of hospital coverage, as these types of services are usually covered only in very specific circumstances.

How do I lower premiums on my medical plans? You can choose one of several means to reduce the cost of your premium: increasing your age, decreasing your enrollment, or adding coverage to an existing Medicare Advantage Plan. Each of these has different effects on your monthly payment and premiums, so researching your options can be confusing, but ultimately it should be worth it in order to keep your out of deep financial trouble should you need it.