Medicare Supplement Plans (also called Medigap) are plans offered by private insurance companies to supplement original Medicare. The plans help pay some or all of the coinsurance, copayments and deductibles in original Medicare. Some plans may also cover cover services that original Medicare does not cover. Here are some key things you need to know about Medicare Supplement plans.
- They are secondary to original Medicare. After Medicare pays, the supplement will pay 100% of your left over costs (depending on the plan you choose).
- There is not a network with a Medicare Supplement plan (Unless it specifically states that it is a approved provider supplement). You may go to any doctor that accepts original Medicare.
- Supplement plans are standardized and identified by letters (except in Mass, Minnesota and Wisconsin). The letters of the plans represent the benefits they provide. For example, a plan F covers 100% of your left over expenses while a plan L coverage 75% of left over expenses.
- Companies must offer the same benefits. They can not be different. A plan F is the same regardless of the company offering it.
- Choose the company with the lowest premium. If all plan F or L plans are the same benefits, make sure you get the company offering it at the lowest price.
- The lowest cost company is different in most states. In general, you can usually get a competitive rate from AARP, BCBS, Mutual of Omaha, Humana or Aetna.
- Supplements will not cover benefits denied by original Medicare.
Most people that use a Medicare supplement plan like the ability to see any doctor, they also like the predictability of the out of pocket costs. Others choose them because they do not have to worry about pre-authorization which can be a problem with Medicare Advantage and PFFS plans.