Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, are insurance plans provided by various private health insurance companies, developed to bridge the “gap” between the coverage offered by Original Medicare Part A and Part B insurance (the insurance plans that cover for hospital and outpatient treatments) and the total expenses related to the medical services received by the beneficiary of the insurance. If you are currently considering getting a Medicare Supplement plan and you are conducting research about how it all works, here are some things to know.
The Differences between Medicare Advantage and Supplement Plans
Medicare Advantage and Medical Supplement plans are both provided by private insurers, but the two are very different in what they offer. While Medicare Advantage plans are alternatives to Original Medicare plans that must meet at least the same standards as Original Medicare programs plus some extra benefits, such as coverage for hearing aids and dental care, Medicare Supplement plans are available for people who have Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans are not compatible, which means that people who have replaced their Original Medicare Plan A and Plan B with an Advantage plan cannot enroll into a Supplement program.
How Medicare Supplement Plans Work
Medicare Supplement plans are types of insurance policies sold by private insurance companies to help the beneficiary cover for the costs of medical treatment that remain after using the coverage offered by Original Medicare. According to Medicare supplement Denver experts, the costs that can be covered through Supplement plans include coinsurance, co-payments as well as deductibles.
The Medicare Supplement system currently consists of 10 different plans, marked with letters, from A through N, and all standardized in most states, meaning that the benefits offered are the same, no matter which insurance company is chosen. The wide choice ensures that anyone eligible for enrollment into Supplement plans can find the coverage that works best for their particular situation. Each type of Medicare Supplement offers a different set of benefits and features.
Medicare Supplement plans become available for those over 64 years and 9 months of age, for those who are retired as well as for people suffering from certain physical conditions, such as end stage renal disease, ALS or Social Security Disability for a continuous period of two years. The people wishing to enroll into a Medicare Supplement program must also be enrolled into Original Medicare Part A, Part B and usually Part D as well.
The complexity of the Medicare Supplement system might be discouraging for many, but fortunately, professional help is available. If you fulfil the basic requirements, but you are still not sure which insurer or which plan to choose, you can turn to Medicare Supplement advisors – independent consultants who can explain you everything you need to know about the pros and the cons of the different Supplement programs that you are eligible for and who can help you choose the best program for your health conditions, your needs and for your budget.