Can I Get a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan If I Have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan?
Both Medicare Supplement insurance plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans may help you to save on health-care costs, but in different ways. In addition, these two plans are not designed to work together. You can’t generally get a Medicare Supplement insurance plan if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account plan. On the other hand, you may be able to enroll in an MSA plan if you already have a Medicare Supplement insurance plan although having both plans may not save you money.
A Medicare Savings Account (MSA) is a type of Medicare Advantage and gives you freedom as to how your health-care dollars are spent.
A Medicare Supplement insurance plan can help pay for your Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) out-of-pocket costs such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Different Medicare Supplement insurance plans pay for different amounts of those costs.
What Medicare Supplement insurance plans cover
Most states offer up to 10 different Medicare Supplement insurance plans, labeled A-N. These Medicare Supplement insurance plans cover up to nine specific health-care costs that are usually not covered by Medicare. Each plan provides a different level of coverage. Some plans cover some costs at 100% while another plan might cover the same cost at 50%. A third plan may not cover that cost at all.
The nine categories of health-care costs that Medicare Supplement insurance plans may help cover are:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
- The first three pints of blood for a medical procedure.
- Part A hospice care coinsurance
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible*
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergencies
*Medicare Supplement plans that may cover the Medicare Part B deductible won’t be available for those new to Medicare after a certain date. Here are the details:
- Medicare Supplement Plans C and F may cover the Part B deductible.
- If you qualify for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to buy Plan C, Plan F, or high-deductible Plan F.
- If you qualified for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you may still be able to buy Plan C or Plan F.
- If you already have Plan C or Plan F, you can typically keep it.
- If you’re looking for a high-deductible Medicare Supplement plan, Plan G may offer one in 2020, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans (ahip.org).
Types of Medicare Advantage plans
The second way to receive your Medicare hospital and medical coverage is through a Medicare Advantage plan. A Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan is a type of Medicare Advantage plan. Unlike Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans usually offer other options beyond hospital and medical coverage, such as prescription drug coverage. Note that Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. Some common types of Medicare Advantage plans include:
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)**
- Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS)
- Special Needs Plans
- Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans
A Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan is associated with a high-deductible plan. The MSA can cover a variety of qualified medical expenses, not just the nine limited categories of the Medicare Supplement insurance plan as stated above.
How Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans work
Your Medicare Medical Savings Account plan must be set up with a bank the plan selects. Medicare gives the plan an amount of money each year for your health-care expenses, and the plan then deposits the money into your account. You can use the money to pay your health-care costs, including costs that aren’t covered by Medicare. If you use up all the money in the account, you’ll have to start paying out-of-pocket until you reach your plan’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. Money left over in the account at the end of the year may be used for health-care costs in future years. Note that different Medicare MSA plans have different deposits, deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximums. This means it could be worth your time to shop around and compare plans.
In general, you can’t have other insurance that would cover the medical costs before you meet the Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan’s yearly deductible. However, there may be some types of health insurance policies that you can purchase. The limited benefit policies you may be able to sign up for, in addition to your Medicare MSA plan coverage, include routine dental and/or vision services, or long-term care.
You can enroll in a Medicare Medical Savings Account plan if you already have a Medicare Supplement insurance plan and you won’t be forced to drop your Medicare Supplement insurance plan. However, even if you continue to pay your Medicare Supplement insurance plan premiums, you may get little or no benefit from having a Medicare Supplement insurance plan while you have a Medicare MSA plan. The Medicare Supplement insurance plan will not be able to cover any part of your MSA deductible.
**Out-of-network/non-contracted providers are under no obligation to treat Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan members, except in emergency situations. For a decision about whether we will cover an out-of-network service, we encourage you or your provider to ask us for a pre-service organization determination before you receive the service. Please call our customer service number or see your Evidence of Coverage for more information, including the cost-sharing that applies to out-of-network services.
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