One of the choices that seniors and other Medicare recipients face is choosing the proper Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan for their budget and medical needs. Because the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has called for standardized plan choices, it is easier to compare between plans offered from different private insurers like AARP or Blue Cross Blue Shield Anthem.
For questions about what Medigap is, click here.
What is the difference between Medicare Plan Supplements A and B?
Is Plan F better than Plan D? How does a high deductible Plan F compare to regular Plan F?
Each Medicare supplement plan type is denoted by a letter. Insurers may offer many several Medigap plans, but the letter allows for easier online Medigap plan comparison. The different plans help cover costs (such as co-insurance costs) not covered by regular Medicare Part A and Part B.
Since each Medigap plan F, for instance, offers the same coverage, the only differences are the actual companies that administer the plan and the price of Medicare Supplement Plan F that the companies offer.
Generally, seniors will find it best to choose the lowest price among the letter plan chosen — although many seniors may wish to thoroughly check online Medigap insurance company reviews carefully. Seniors may also consider asking others who have Medigap plans(friends at their church, or other peer groups) their experiences with individual insurers. Some seniors may feel that it is more important to find the best Medigap insurance customer service than a rock bottom price.
What is co-insurance?
Co-insurance is the portion of a total bill that the patient is expected to pay. As opposed to a flat dollar amount per service, Medicare co-insurance is generally a fixed percentage of the total allowable charges for a healthcare service.
Here is a breakdown on individual Medicare Supplement plan choices:
Medicare Supplement Plan A is a Medigap plan choice that offers basic coverage. This covers all of the coinsurance that regular Medicare Part B doesn’t cover. Plan A is generally the most affordable Medigap plan.
Medicare Supplement Plan B is a Medigap plan choice that offers basic coverage. Like Plan A, Plan B covers all Part B coinsurance costs, but also covers the Part A deductible cost as well.
Medicare Supplement Plan C is a Medigap plan choice that offers basic coverage. It improves upon Plan B by offering additional coverage; Plan C also covers skilled nursing facility co-insurance and both Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, and foreign travel emergency coverage. This is a type of coverage that seniors who like to travel to foreign countries or take cruises should consider.
Medicare Supplement Plan D is a Medigap plan choice that offers coverage like Plan C, only this plan does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible.
Medicare Supplement Plan F is a Medigap plan choice that offers the most comprehensive coverage for seniors. This plan covers all costs that regular Medicare doesn’t cover. For this reason, it is generally the most expensive plan. Many seniors who don’t want to risk worrying about additional costs may consider plan F the best Medigap plan or best Medicare Supplement plan offered.
High Deductible Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the same coverage as the regular Medigap plan F, but has requires the patient to pay the first $2000 dollars toward out-of-pocket expenses. This is another strong choice for seniors searching for a plan that provides across the board coverage, and prevent concerns about a patient being unable to meet excessive medical costs.
Medicare Supplement Plan G is similar to Medigap Plan F, although it doesn’t offer coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible.
Medicare Supplement Plan K is a Medigap plan choice that is quite a departure from the previous plans. This plan offers comprehensive preventative care coverage, part A hospital co-insurance and hospitalization coverage for one year. It covers up to half of costs from the Medicare Part A deductible and half of skilled nursing facility costs. Covers 50% of first 3 pints of blood. This plan has a maximum out-of-pocket limit of $4,660 per year, at which point plan covers 100% of covered costs that calendar year.
Medicare Supplement Plan L is a Medigap plan choice that is very similiar to Plan K. Instead of covering half of the K expenses, Plan L pays %75 of Medicare Part B coinsurance, Blood, Part A co-insurance, Skilled nursing care and Medicare Part A deductible. Also, it has an out-of-pocket limit of only $2,330.
Medicare Supplement Plan M is a Medigap plan choice that covers all of the Medicare Part B coinsurance, Blood, Part A co-insurance, skilled nursing care and half of the Medicare Part A deductible. This plan also provides emergency foreign travel coverage. However, it does NOT have an out-of-pocket limit like plan K or plan L!
Medicare Supplement Plan N is a Medigap plan choice that covers Medicare Part A coinsurance, Blood, Part A hospice care coinsurance, skilled nursing care coinsurance, Part A deductible and foreign travel emergency care. It also covers Part B coinsurance, although under this plan, the patient is expected to pay up to a $20 copay for office visits and up to $50 for emergency room vis