Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare Part A and B do not fully cover hospitalization, doctors visits, and medical procedures. To cover the difference between the actual cost of care and what Medicare pays Medicare supplement insurance can be purchased through a private insurer.
During the first 60 days of a hospital stay Part A pays in full. During the second and third month and fourth and fifth month, there is a daily deductible of $341 and $682 respectively. After the fifth month, the patient bears the entire cost.
Covering doctor and outpatient care Medicare Part B also covers medical equipment. The yearly Part B deductible for 2019 is $185. After the deductible is met Medicare only pays 80% of the cost of covered treatment and equipment. If before their yearly deductible is paid a patient receives $12,000 worth of treatment, he/she will owe $2,585 to the provider(s). Medicare supplement insurance would cover all or most of that cost.
Qualifying for Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Who is qualified to purchase a Medicare supplement plan varies according to state law. In some states, insurers are prohibited from selling supplemental insurance to anyone under 65. In other states, insurers can sell Medicare supplements to people under 65 who qualify for Social Security Disability. The one universal qualification is that an applicant for a supplement is enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
A Little About the Difference in Plans
Choosing a Medicare supplement insurance plan requires some research by the consumer. There can be as many as 10 different plans available all with an alphabetical designation like Plan A, Plan F, Plan N, and etc. There is one thing all these plans have in common. After Medicare stops paying for a hospitalization the supplemental plans will pay 100% of the hospital bill for one year.
The different plans have different monthly premiums, co-pays, and deductibles depending on the insurance company. Another difference in the plans is the services that are covered. For purposes of comparison, we will look at three plans to give the reader a basic idea of what is available to them.
Plans G, F, and N
- Plan F is the most comprehensive supplement available. This plan absorbs all Part A and Part B out-of-pocket expenses. The yearly Part B deductible and $50 ER visit deductible visit are covered under Plan F.
- Plan G is almost identical to Plan F. The principle difference between the two is that Plan G does not pay the yearly Part B deductible.
- Minus 20% Plan N covers all costs not covered by Part B. Plan N does not cover the yearly or ER visit deductible.
Finding a Plan
It is important to comparison shop for Medicare supplemental insurance. Plan F monthly premiums can vary from $250 to $396. The AARP website and other websites offer tools for finding the right Medicare supplement. Keep in mind these sites usually represent one or more supplement providers.