Medicare Supplement Insurance: What Is It?
Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, will pay certain hospital bills associated with a Medicare-approved stay. The types of plans available to you will depend on your specific area, although there are ten standard plans for you to choose from. Each plan offers somewhat different benefits, though there are only a select number of benefits to choose from.
The level at which your Medigap plan will cover those expenses varies as well. Some plans cover 0% of a particular category of coverage, while others cover the entire amount. For instance, Plan B covers Part A deductibles entirely, while Plan A doesn’t offer any coverage of the Part A deductible. Needing a benefit and not having it can be a real pain, so make sure you learn which benefits you need and strive to find them.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Carriers
Medicare insurance plans - what are they, is it something that would benefit you? Let's go ahead and take a look!
Sean Brady here with My Healthcare Direct. My team and I are on a mission to help as many seniors as possible, educate them on Medicare - what it is, what it is not - and just try to help them as best we can to explain their situation and how we can help them.
What are Medicare supplements?
Medicare supplements are private insurance that covers what original Medicare does not. Original Medicare, that covers 80 of your costs and with a Medicare supplement, depending on which one, you can subsidize that cost and in some cases pay for all of the costs. And so that's what a Medicare supplement does. It takes over the cost and the burden for what original Medicare does not.
Some things to consider and understand:
They are private insurance that helps and works alongside your original Medicare
With original Medicare included, you can still go to all the doctors and hospitals that accept original Medicare. That's one of the strong benefits of having a Medicare supplement.
The other thing to understand is their standardized plans. Let's say you go with XYZ carrier for Plan G versus ABC carrier for Plan G - well, the benefits are going to be exactly the same, 100 percent identical. The only difference is going to be the cost. It's also going to be which company you're working with:
- How is their customer service?
- How is their efficiency?
- Are they on the ball?
That kind of stuff. Those are the things that you're going to want to consider. And we're going to go over a little bit of that today.
What insurance carriers offer Medicare supplements?
Well, there's quite a few, and we've only listed some of the major ones that you may have heard of. There's a lot more that are maybe smaller, and we work with many of those as well. But just here some of the major ones:
- United American
- United Healthcare
- Mutual of Omaha
These are all carriers that we work with and have a good relationship with. Now, we're not biased to any one carrier or the other, just so we're clear, we're independent insurance agents. That means we‘re not “captive.” We don't work for just one carrier and have to sell their products. That's not what we do. We partner with all of them as a broker, as an independent insurance agent, so that we can offer all the plans to you. And so, whatever the best plan would be for your situation, that's what we want to be in the position to offer you, and that's what we do.
Other things to take a look at with insurance carriers
Number one, it's going to be the premium, that's what you're going to want to look for. How much is the cost? You could have a XYZ small no-name insurance Medicare supplement carrier who's offering a very low affordable premium price for their Medicare supplement. But if you've never heard of them and they have a very small following in their risk pool, it may not be the best fit for you. And that's something that you probably wouldn't know normally. But with our rating tools we're able to look up and specifically see:
- Are there any history of rate increases?
- What is the stability of this plan with this company?
- What is their financial rating?
- Are they AAA rated?
These are all things that we dive into and at the very least make you aware, so that you fully understand, which plan and which carrier you're getting yourself into and what their history and what they've done in the past, to give you an idea of what to expect if you enroll with them.
So that's a little bit of Medicare Supplement in a nutshell.
If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for. We'll be glad to answer any questions you have, and we look forward to talking with you soon.
Different Medigap Plans
Here is a breakdown of what each Medigap plan has to offer:
- Plan A: The most basic plan, which covers the 20% of costs that Medicare doesn’t pay for outpatient health services. It’s got other minor benefits, but they aren’t too important.
- Plan B: This plan has similar benefits to Plan A, in that it covers the same 20%, but Plan B will also take on your hospital deductible.
- Plan C: Arguably one of the most comprehensive Medigap plan, Plan C covers all out-of-pocket medical costs exceeding the Medicare-approved amount.
- Plan D: Most benefits are offered by Plan D, except this plan also excludes Part B deductibles.
- Plan F: This plan has been the best-selling option for a long time, as it covers every single cost outside of the Medicare-approved amount. This includes excess charges.
- Plan G: This plan is nearly parallel to Plan F, except Plan G is more competitive than F in many markets.
- Plans K, L, and M: These are partial benefits packages that offer 50-75% of most items on the policy. Though, each of these plans are rarely sought even by people who can find them.
- Plan N: This plan lowers premiums in exchange for you agreeing to pay copays when you visit a doctor and go to an emergency room. Though, excess charges won’t be covered which is a detriment to many customers.