Medicare supplement plan, also known as Medigap, refers to various health insurance plans sold by private companies to supplement Medicare in the United States. Unlike Medicare supplement insurance, original Medicare is managed by the federal government. Original Medicare refers to Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Advantages of the Medicare Supplement Plan over the Original Medicare
Original Medicare, Part A and B pays for many of your health care services and supplies, but doesn’t pay for everything. The Medicare supplement plan basically fills the gaps in the Original Medicare coverage. The Medigap plans help pay some of the hospital and medical costs like copayments, coinsurance and yearly deductibles that the original or traditional Med icare doesn’t cover.Some Medicare supplement plans also help pay for a few services that the original Medicare doesn’t cover such as emergency overseas travel coverage or Part B excess charges.Two out of ten Medigap plans include a yearly out -of-pocket limit which the traditional Medicare doesn’t include.
All Medicare supplement plans cover the following benefits:
- Medicare part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
- Blood (first three pints)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
Some types of Medicare supplement plans also cover the following:
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
- Medicare Part A deductible.
- Medicare Part B deductible.
- Medicare Part B excess charges.
- Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits).
The following benefits are not covered by the Medicare supplement plans:
- Long term care (care in nursing home)
- Routine vision or dental care
- Hearing aids
- Private-duty nursing
- Prescription drugs
Additional facts about Medicare supplement plans:
- You must have Medicare Part A and B to get Medicare supplement plan.
- Every Medigap policy must be clearly identified as “Medicare supplement insurance.”
- A Medicare supplement plan can only cover one person.
- You can generally use your Medicare supplement plan with any provider that accepts Medicare. However, some types of Medicare plan also known as “Medicare select” plans require you to only use doctors and hospitals in provider networks.
- Not all types of Medicare supplement plans may be available in your state.
- Premium cost may vary by plan and location, even for the same standardized benefits.
- In general, Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed renewable as long as you continue to pay the premium.
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