Does My Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Cover My Spouse?
In many cases, you can buy a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plan to cover out-of-pocket costs that Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B don’t cover, such as coinsurance and deductibles. Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans even include limited coverage of foreign travel emergencies.
Can my spouse and I be on the same Medicare Supplement insurance plan?
If you’re looking for a plan that covers both you and your spouse, you need to know that Medicare Supplement insurance plans don’t cover spouses. Like most Medicare plans, a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is designed to cover only one person. No Medicare Supplement insurance plans provide spouse coverage. This means that a married couple who both want Medicare Supplement insurance coverage must purchase two separate policies.
When should I enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan?
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is typically during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. During this period, insurance companies may not use medical underwriting to deny coverage on the basis of current or past health problems, although you might face a waiting period before coverage starts. It is possible to buy a Medicare Supplement insurance plan outside of your Open Enrollment Period if special conditions apply. If no special conditions apply, you may be denied coverage based on your health condition or required to pay a higher premium.
The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period begins on the first day of the month that you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. Depending on your age and your birthdays, you and your spouse may likely have different Open Enrollment Periods. Some states have additional Open Enrollment Periods including those for people under age 65.
How will my spouse receive health care?
If your spouse is younger than you and isn’t yet eligible for Medicare, he or she will need some different kind of health insurance when you become eligible for Medicare. Other types of health-care could be an employer-sponsored group plan, or health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. When your spouse turns 65, he or she will then be eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A and B and then purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
Should my spouse and I purchase the same Medicare Supplement insurance plan?
You and your spouse can purchase the same policy, or you may want different policies depending on your health-care needs. Keep in mind that not all Medicare Supplement insurance plans cover the same benefits at the same levels. All Medicare Supplement insurance plans (standardized in most states with lettered names: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N) cover 100% of Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs. All Medicare Supplement insurance plans also cover at least 50% of Medicare Part B coinsurance, at least 50% of blood, and at least 50% of Part A hospice care coinsurance; some cover up to 100%. Some plans (C, D, F, G, M and N) offer foreign travel emergency benefits (80% of covered costs up to plan limits). If your spouse travels and you don’t, you may want different plans. As you shop, know that different insurance companies may charge different premiums for the same policy. If you compare prices among Medicare Supplement insurance plans, you may find a cheaper policy with the same coverage from a different insurance company.
Most Medicare Supplement insurance plan do NOT cover nursing home care, routine vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing. Medicare Supplement insurance plans purchased today also do not cover prescription drugs. To get prescription drug coverage, you can sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Some Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, and may also cover benefits like routine dental or vision care. Keep in mind that Medicare Supplement insurance plans only work with Original Medicare. You can’t use these plans to pay for Medicare Advantage costs.
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