Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare is great government insurance for seniors but it doesn't cover everything. When they turn 65, they are automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B. Part A is hospitalization and is free. Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, health care at home, medical devices, and selected preventive services. Part B is not free; the senior will pay a monthly premium. Medicare supplemental insurance or Medigap is a policy covering what original Medicare doesn't cover. Seniors must sign up for a supplemental plan six months from their 65th birthday. For more information, read on to learn about Medicare supplemental insurance

Some of the plans pay the co-pay and deductibles from original Plan A and Plan B. Others pay for health care if the senior travels out of the country. Some plans cover getting blood (the first three pints.) Medicare supplemental plans do not cover vision and dental care, hearing aids, or private nursing. Medicare supplemental plans are lettered A through N. Plans E, I, H, and J are no longer available. Seniors will pay a monthly premium for their chosen plan in addition to the Medicare Part B monthly premium. Monthly premiums range in price from $210 to $449. Medicare supplemental plans A through N pay 100 percent of Medicare Part A (hospitalization) coinsurance and costs if the senior is hospitalized for one year after Medicare pays for the first year. Plans A through N pay 100 percent of the Medicare Part B coinsurance.

Plans A through N pay 100 percent for blood (the first three pints.) Plans A through N pay 100 percent of hospice care copayment. Medicare Part A pays for skilled nursing care facilities under some conditions and for a limited time. Medicare supplemental plans pay 100 percent of it. Plans B through N pay 100 percent of Medicare Part A deductible, while plans C through F pay 100 percent of Medicare Part B deductible. If a senior goes to a Medicare unapproved doctor for an unapproved procedure/treatment, then the senior will have an "excess charge." Plans F and G pay 100 percent of such charges. Medicare supplemental plans C through G, M, and N pay 100 percent for emergency health treatment in foreign travel.

Plan K only pays 50 percent of Part A deductible and Part B coinsurance, blood (first three pints,) Part A hospice coinsurance, and skilled nursing coinsurance. Plan L only pays 75 percent of these. With Plan K, the out of pocket limit is $5,120, and with Plan L, the out of pocket limit is $2,560. Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N only pay 80 percent of foreign travel health care. Plan M only pays 50 percent of Medicare Part A deductible. By far the most popular Medigap plans are Plans F and G. Plan F offers a higher deductible, which in 2013 was $2,110. When seniors pay that amount, Plan F picks up the remaining charges for the rest of the calendar year.

Seniors nearing their 65th birthday need Medicare supplemental insurance in order to receive the services that Medicare Parts A and B don't cover. Supplemental insurance will help pay their deductibles and copays. When their birthdays arrive, seniors should contact their local health insurance agency to learn more about it and to sign up for the Medicare supplemental plan that fits their lifestyle and budget.

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