What is Medicare Supplement Insurance? Complete Medicare Resource Center here:
Understanding Medicare Supplement Insurance and How It Works with Medicare Coverage
Medicare supplement insurance can help pay coinsurance, deductibles and copayments not covered by Medicare. This form of coverage is available through different policies ranging from letter A through N. Also known as Medigap because they cover gaps left behind from original Medicare, this plan may include coverage your Medicare plan doesn’t offer such as foreign travel coverage if you get sick overseas. These plans are different from Medicare Advantage; this plan is similar to Part A, B and D but offers plans through private companies to use in network.
Information to Know about Medicare Supplement Insurance
When using this plan you should be enrolled in Part A and B Medicare plans. Plan C or Medicare Advantage cannot be used with supplement insurance, but you can sign up for Medigap if you are leaving the Advantage plan. The supplement insurance requires a monthly premium and this is in addition to the premium paid with Part B. Each policy is designed to cover one person. If you are married your spouse needs to apply for their own plan.
Supplement insurance for Medicare is available through private companies in your state. The policy is renewable and it never cancels unless you stop making payments. Part D provides coverage for prescription medicines; supplement insurance does not cover this cost. This insurance does not cover services such as private nursing, dental and vision care, and long term care. Items such as eyeglasses and hearing aids are not covered.
Clarifying This Insurance: What It Is Not
Medicare supplement insurance is a completely different health insurance option from others available or provided by the government. This is not to be confused with Medicaid, Medicare Advantage plans with PPO or HMO, long-term care coverage, or prescription drug coverage affiliated with Medicare. Supplement plans provide different levels of coverage based on fees and costs Medicare covers. You can sign up for supplemental coverage when enrolling in Part A or B coverage. This coverage is not the same as an MSA plan (Medicare Medical Savings Account). It is illegal for a company to offer a supplement policy to customers with an MSA.
Why This Plan Gets Mixed Up with Medicare Advantage
A supplement policy for Medicare offers coverage that picks up uncovered costs left by Medicare Plan A or B. The Advantage plan is known as Part C. You cannot use both options (Medigap and Medicare Advantage) at the same time. Drug coverage is not covered under supplement insurance, but policies issued before 2006 may have this option. Part C has plans offering drug coverage you can choose from. There are similar factors that lead others to believe the plans are the same. They both offer similar plans with different coverage amounts people can choose from. The supplement policy has a monthly premium. Part C has copay or other costs you may be responsible for if not covered by Medicare.
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