Those who have a Medicare plan will realize that Medicare only covers, at least, 80% of the total medical expenses. This is why, in addition to their Medicare plan, many may be required to take out additional Medicare supplemental insurance to cover the remaining 20% not covered by Medicare. This 20% not paid by Medicare is sometimes referred to as the “co-payment” amount, which some customers simply cannot afford to pay, even in installments. Medicare supplemental insurance can help reduce these significant costs.
There are several different supplementary plans available but the most popular plan is Medigap. Another is the Medicare SELECT policy, which is less expensive but restricts patients to Medicare-approved doctors, hospitals, and physicians. Those with HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) certified Medicare Advantage Plans don’t need an additional healthcare plan to cover remaining costs.
There are 12 types of standard additional Medicare insurance, ranging from Plan A through to Plan B. Each policy offers a range of premiums, coverage, and out-of-pocket expenses. This is generally given through the ‘Medigap’ policy and is sold by private insurance policies.
Medigap works in the same way as other additional health insurance. It is sold by private insurance companies but approved by Medicare. The policies are standard basic coverage policies, differing only slightly throughout Plans (A-L) and slightly through different companies in premium. The standard coverage for the 12 plans must stay the same no matter what company provides the plan.
Generally, a Medigap policy covers a few key gaps in the original Medicare plan. Coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles, short-term care facilities and emergency travel insurance are all covered by the Medigap policy through the plans (they may not all be necessarily covered by one plan).
Medicare Part D is another United Healthcare medicare supplement policy offered by private insurance companies but regulated by Medicare and the Government. It can add coverage to an Original Medicare policy, a Certain Medicare Cost Plan, a PFFS Plan (Private Fee For Service) or a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plus. Part D policies generally provide benefits including less expensive prescription drugs, greater access to drugs (name brand and generic) and low co-payments/deductibles.
There are, however, several external factors that will affect this Medicare Supplemental Insurance Rates and Plans. The funding that Medicare receives, for example, could affect even private supplemental insurance policies, as well as Medicare expansion (which may reduce or increase premiums). Also, Medicare gap insurance such as Medicare Plan D and Medigap do not cover long-term nursing care or long-term stay in hospitals. They also don’t cover other healthcare issues, such as optician costs, private nurses or dental costs. These must be purchased elsewhere, such as in the Medicare Advantage Plan which does not act as a Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy but as a complete replacement for a Medicare plan.