What is a Medicare Supplement?
A common misunderstanding is that once a person is entitled to Medicare benefits, they no longer have to be concerned with healthcare costs. This is simply not true. While Medicare is a good baseline coverage, it requires a Medicare recipient to pay significant co-payment amounts. In fact, there are eight major liabilities that Medicare will not fully cover:
- Part A Deductible
- Hospital Coinsurance
- Skilled Nursing Coinsurance
- Blood Coinsurance
- Hospice Coinsurance
- Part B Deductible
- Medical Coinsurance
- Excess Charges
These cost-sharing requirements are significant liabilities, representing tens of thousands of dollars. A Medicare Supplement, also known as a Medigap Policy, is an insurance policy that is designed to fill in these liabilities, or “gaps”. In other words, a Medicare Supplement “supplements” your Original Medicare to provide you will an affordable insurance combination.
Medicare Supplements are sold by private insurance companies and are regulated by the State Department of Insurance. There are ten different Medicare Supplement plan designs that cover the above liabilities. Some plans offer complete coverage, and others will cover only some or part of the liabilities. These ten different plans have been given letter designations by the Federal Government from “A” to “M”. For example a person may purchase a Plan F, a Plan G, etc. An insurance carrier who sells a Medicare Supplement must offer one of these ten plans; they cannot offer coverage that is different than these ten plan designs. Here are some features of all Medicare Supplements:
- Your Medicare Supplement policy cannot be terminated as long as you pay your premium
- You cannot be singled out for a premium rate increase.
- Any premium rate increases must be approved by the State Department of Insurance and must apply to everybody in the state.
- Your Medicare Supplement benefits can never be reduced or changed.
- You can see any doctor nationwide who accepts Medicare.
There are many companies that sell Medicare Supplements in Idaho. Although the coverage between two companies is the same, premiums vary widely depending on a company’s claims experience and overall business model. We contract every major competitive company in the state and would be happy to discuss which plan and which carrier might be a good fit for your needs. If you would like to talk to us more about this, please call or email us anytime and we will be happy to discuss – free of charge – your options with you. In the meantime, click here for a quick comparison of Medicare Supplement benefits and pricing available in Idaho. For other state information please contact us!