Would Medicare Supplement Insurance fit my needs?

If you’re looking for a plan that gives you more Medicare benefits, find out how a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan could be right for you.

Living in the Midwest is great because we get to experience a change of seasons. Of course, I do have a favorite season and sometimes wish the weather wouldn’t change at all. Especially on a perfect day!

Many of us are like that: When we like something, we want it to stay the same. You might have a similar feeling about Medicare plans. That’s why Medicare Supplement Insurance is appealing. It’s “guaranteed renewable.” That means your policy can’t be canceled as long as you pay your monthly premium.

Want more coverage than Original Medicare?

Original Medicare includes Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (doctor visits, outpatient care and supplies). But most people want more coverage. Learn about these reasons in Why buy a private plan.

People who enroll in Medicare can choose from different options, depending on the county where you live.

A Medicare Supplement plan (also known as Medigap) helps fill in the cost-sharing gaps in Original Medicare. Let’s highlight some reasons you might like Medicare Supplement Insurance:

  • You want help paying some of the costs Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copays, coinsurance and deductibles
  • You want access to any U.S. doctors, clinics and hospitals that accept Medicare
  • You are OK with getting Part D drug coverage with a separate plan
  • You want extra benefits (like a fitness program or additional discounts)
  • You like to travel
  • You might move to another state and want to keep your plan
  • You want a plan that is guaranteed renewal

To help you understand a bit more about these plans, we created this chart. Compare Supplement Insurance to Original Medicare and see if it’s the best fit for you.

 

COVERAGE & COSTS

 

 Original MedicareSupplement Insurance
Are you eligible?• You are eligible when you turn 65, are permanently disabled at any age, or have End-Stage Renal Disease.• You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
• You must live in the service area where the plan is offered.
When can you enroll?• You have seven months to enroll when you first get Medicare. Enroll three months before you turn age 65, the month you turn 65, or the three months after you turn 65.
• You can sign up during the General Election Period between Jan. 1 – March 31 if you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible and not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period
• You may have other chances to sign up using a Special Enrollment Period.
• You can enroll when you are eligible for Part B and for the next six months. If you apply after six months, you may have to include your health history to the health plan for approval.
• You can enroll during special enrollment periods without providing your health history.
Monthly premium• Most people do not pay a Part A premium. Part B has a monthly premium that is based on income.• You pay your Medicare Part B monthly premium (and Part A premium if applicable).
• You pay a monthly premium for a Supplement plan. The premium amount may be different depending on the plan you choose, level of coverage you choose, and in many instances your age, tobacco use or health history.
What it covers• Medicare Part A pays some costs for care from a hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, or hospice. It has deductibles and copays.
• Medicare Part B pays some costs for doctor visits, lab tests, X-rays, outpatient care and medical supplies. It has an annual deductible and 20% coinsurance for covered care.
• Original Medicare Parts A and B pay your health care costs first. The Supplement plan then pays some of the remaining costs, like copays, coinsurance or deductibles. The amount of coverage depends on the Supplement plan you select.
• Some plans may include a limit on how much you pay each year.
• Some plans may limit how much they pay for certain benefits each year.
Prescription coverage• Does not cover outpatient prescription medicines.• Outpatient prescription medicines are not covered. You’ll need to purchase a Part D prescription drug plan separately. (You’ll pay a penalty if you don’t enroll in a Part D plan when you are eligible.)

 

CONVENIENCE & PERKS

 

 Supplement Insurance
Convenience• You have access to any U.S. doctors, clinics and hospitals that accept Medicare
• Supplement Insurance is “guaranteed renewable” which means your policy can’t be canceled as long as you continue to pay your premiums.
• A Supplement plan is “portable,” which means you can generally move within the United States and keep your plan.
Extra perks and benefits• Many plans include a fitness program, routine eye and ear exams, worldwide emergency care or additional dental coverage.

NEED MORE HELP? CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES:

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program offers free, independent counseling services and local workshops to help with your health care benefit decisions.

Visit medicare.gov, or talk to a Medicare expert, like an agent, broker or health plan sales rep.

Our monthly Medicare newsletter delivers helpful tips straight to your inbox.