Medicare Supplement Plans: What You Don't Know Can Cost You

What Is Medigap Insurance? - AgingInPlace.org

Medicare is a great way to get health insurance, but it's not perfect. If you're on Medicare, there are still some gaps in your coverage that you'll need to fill with a Medicare supplement plan (often called "Medigap"). 

Medicare Supplement Plans Can Help Fill The Gaps In Coverage Left By Original Medicare

Medicare Supplement plans are designed to help fill the gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare. They’re not the same as Medigap, which is a supplemental policy that pays for covered services after you hit your Original Medicare deductible. They’re also not the same as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part C (which joins together parts A and B).

Medigap policies and Medicare Advantage policies have limited benefits and may require you to pay more for certain services than if you had traditional Original Medicare coverage.

Do You Need A Medicare Supplement Plan

If you are on Medicare and have medical needs, you should consider a supplement plan. If you do not have medical needs or have already purchased all of your health care and prescription drugs, then a Medicare supplement plan may not be necessary for you.

What Are The Costs Of A Medicare Supplement Plan

The cost of Medicare supplement plans varies based on the plan you choose, as well as your state, age and coverage. You can find out exactly how much a specific plan will cost by using Medigap Plan Finder.

The average monthly premium for a Medigap policy is $31 in 2018. The average annual deductible is $164 per year, while the maximum out-of-pocket amount is $5,100.

The maximum prescription medication coverage limit varies per plan, but it's between $2,500 and $4,500 per year based on your state and age when you enroll in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage (which is separate from your Medigap supplemental insurance). Any expenditures beyond this level would be covered by additional insurance before regular Medicare reimbursed you.

Medicare Supplement Plan N Vs. Plan G

If you’re like most people, there are still a lot of unknowns about Medicare. One of the most common questions we hear from our clients is what the difference is between Medicare Supplement Plan N vs. Plan G.

Plan G and Plan N are both “original Medicare Advantage” plans offered by Aetna and UnitedHealthcare respectively. They are not Medicare Part D plans—they just provide coverage for hospitalization costs and some other medical expenses (like prescription drugs) in addition to Part A and B benefits.

If you're considering a Medicare supplement plan, it's important to know exactly what is covered by Original Medicare before choosing a supplemental plan. Remember that Medicare supplement plans are not:

Required. You can choose to go without one or more of the five types of Medicare supplements available (A through N).

Free. All health insurance is expensive, and so are most supplemental policies on the market today. It's easy to become confused by their different names (Medicare Advantage, Part D) and miss out on savings opportunities if you're not careful about comparing apples to apples when shopping around for coverage options.

We hope that this article has helped you better understand Medicare Supplement Plans and how they can benefit you as a senior. If you have any questions about what might be right for your situation, please visit here.