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If you’re researching your Medicare coverage options, you may have heard about Medicare Supplement insurance. What is it, and can it save you money? This article gives you a quick overview.
Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap) insurance plans are offered by private insurance companies. Whether they may save you money, and how much money they might save you, depends on a number of details.
Medicare Supplement insurance plans may help you pay for out-of-pocket costs for services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. These costs can include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, hospital costs after you run out of Medicare-covered days, skilled nursing facility costs, and more. Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans even include limited coverage for emergency medical services when you’re traveling abroad.
If you already have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), you might be eligible for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
To understand how much money you might save by having a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, you will want to consider factors such as:
Medicare provides broad insurance coverage; however, it doesn’t pay all your health-care expenses. “Out-of-pocket costs” refer to the expenses you must pay because either Medicare does not cover the service or the service is subject to cost-sharing between Medicare and you. Your out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not pay can include:
Medicare Supplement insurance plans won’t cover the cost of your Medicare premium(s). However, you may be able to find a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in your area that may cover the particular out-of-pocket Medicare Part A and Part B costs that you face the most often.
Medicare Supplement insurance plans offer various standardized benefits. In most states, the Medicare Supplement insurance plan type is identified by alphabetical letter, such as Medicare Supplement insurance Plan G. Each standardized Medicare Supplement insurance plan – that is, each plan of the same name, like Plan G – must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Learn what each standardized Medicare Supplement insurance plan covers.
Here are some examples. Each of the standardized plans available in most states covers:
And here are a few examples of costs that some of these standardized plans may at least partly cover:
Two plans (Medicare Supplement insurance Plan K and Plan L) have out-of-pocket limits, to help prevent your medical costs from running above certain amounts. After you’ve paid your Medicare Part B deductible and you’ve reached the Medicare Supplement insurance plan’s out-of-pocket limit, the plan pays the rest of your covered medical services for the rest of that year. In 2019, Medicare Supplement insurance Plan K has an out-of-pocket limit of $5,560, and Medicare Supplement insurance Plan L’s out-of-pocket limit is $2,780.
How much money would a Medicare Supplement insurance plan save you?
Keep in mind that insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement insurance plans can set their own premiums, which means that the cost for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan can vary by insurer, even though the benefits are exactly the same for plans of the same lettered name.
Please note that the time period when you apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan may be important; usually the best time to apply is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, a six-month timespan that starts when you’re both at least age 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
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This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.