Call (888) 310-0376 to Compare All Medicare Supplement Plans in Your State. Get Instant Access I explain 5 things you should know about Medicare Supplements before you buy. As far as Medicare Plans go, Medicare supplemental coverage is a little easier to understand than Medicare Advantage.
So what is Medicare supplement insurance and how does it work? Medicare supplemental insurance is also known as Medigap. It is private health insurance designed to supplement original Medicare by helping to pay some of your share of costs for Medicare-covered services.
Medicare supplement plans are standardized insurance policies and are designated by the letters A through N. Standardization means that the same plan will generally have identical benefits no matter which company sells it.
The second thing you should be aware of is that Medicare supplements are different than Medicare Advantage plans. While a Medigap policy pays your share of costs after Medicare pays, an Advantage Plan is another way to get your Medicare benefits and these benefits are paid by the plan.
Medicare Advantage Plans are often PPOs or HMOs and require you to receive services from network providers. Medicare supplement policies on the other hand allow you in most cases (except Medicare Select) to choose your own providers without network restrictions.
You cannot be canceled from your supplement unless you stop paying premiums. Advantage Plans are good for one year and require you to renew annually.
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The third thing you should know is when you can buy a Medicare supplement. The best time to buy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period which lasts for 6 months and begins when you are both 65 or older and eligible for Part B.
This in the best time to buy because an insurance company cannot:
Refuse to sell you any policy it sells
Make you wait for coverage
Charge you more due to health problems
Another time to get Medicare supplemental coverage is when you are entitled to Guaranteed Issue Rights. These rights are triggered by a change in your circumstances, such as; your Medicare Advantage Plan leaving Medicare or not renewing for the following year or your employer or Union group insurance is ending.
The fourth thing you should know is how to compare Medicare Supplement Plans. Standardization make comparing plans easy. Once you look at the Medicare supplement benefits chart you will be able to see what is covered by each plan and then compare that plan across several companies.
Fifth, you need to be aware that Medicare supplement rates can vary widely between plans. It's not uncommon to see $100 or more difference in monthly premiums for the same plan.
Plans that are worthy of consideration include Medicare supplement Plan F and Plan N. Plan F is the most popular nationally and the most comprehensive. Medicare supplement Plan N is a good option if you can handle a little out-of-pocket expense.
When comparing Medicare supplement policies remember that the best Medicare supplement is the one that fits your budget and gives you the most bang for your buck.