Medicare Supplemental Insurance Explained

If you are an American or you live in America, then you have probably heard of Medicare.  Medicare is a government funded health insurance program. Because Medicare is Federal Health Insurance is available to all American citizens who meet the requirements.  Medicare is easily one of the most important federal programs available, and plays an integral role in the wellbeing of some of society’s most vulnerable members.  Medicare is often viewed as a program primarily for the elderly, but there are some exceptions. People who are 65 and older are the main beneficiaries of Medicare, but some young people with certain disabilities will also qualify for Medicare. And if you have ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease, permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant) you can also qualify for Medicare coverage.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare Coverage is traditionally broken into two parts, Part A and Part B.  There are two other options, Part C and Part D that provide service bundles or additional services.  Part A covers inpatient expenses, such as hospital stays, nursing facilities, and even hospice care.  Part B functions a medical insurance, covering doctor’s visits, most outpatient care services, medical supply costs, and a variety of preventative services.  Part D, a more recent addition to the Medicare Service, covers prescription drug costs, and can be added to both Part A and Part B.  Part C, or Medicare Advantage, functions as an “all in one” bundle, an alternative to Medicare, allowing you to receive the benefits of Parts A, B, and D all at once.  However, Medicare plans, even Part C, don’t cover everything.  This is where Medicare Supplemental Insurance comes into play.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans (Also Known as Medigap Plans) are additional plans that help Medicare beneficiaries cover the out of pocket costs that aren’t covered by Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans are standardized across most states, and have ten different forms: Plans A, B, C, D, F, K, L, M, and N. Plan A and Plan B are not the same as Medicare Part A and Part B. Each of the Plans has a different amount of coverage.  Almost every state has these various supplemental insurance plans. The states that don’t (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) all have their own standardized plans.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

Any health insurance provider that sells any Medicare Insurance Supplement Plan must offer the standardized plan, which means that no matter which company is offering the plan, the benefits remain the same. All Health insurers that offer any Medicare Insurance supplement plan are required by law to offer Plan A.  If an insurance provider wishes to offer additional Medicare Supplemental Plans, they are required by law to offer either plan C or Plan F in addition to Plan A and whichever additional supplemental plans they wish to offer. While the benefits of the supplemental plans are the same across companies, the insurance premiums will not be the same.  The cost of these plans is not standardized, so you will need to do some searching to find the best rate available to you.  The benefit to the standardized plan is that you will always know what benefits you are paying for, making it easier for you to find the supplemental plan that is perfect for you.

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