How to Determine What Medicare Supplement Plans are Right For You
If you’re new to Medicare and considering Medicare Supplement Plans, then you might be wondering what exactly is covered by Medicare Supplement Plans and what might make one option better than another.
Medicare Supplement Plans combine with original Medicare plans to “fill in the gaps” of traditional Medicare coverage. While similar to Medicare Advantage Plans in many ways, Medicare Supplement Plans, are different in that Medicare is not included in the plan, the plan merely works in addition to Medicare.
You will pay a monthly premium for any Medicare Supplement plan – in addition to the monthly premium you pay towards your Medicare plan.
The benefit to choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan is that they offer additional coverage to Medicare plans and there are several different plans available. This way, there is more available to you to choose and you can find a plan that’s a little more specific to your needs.
But how do you know which plan is right for you?
Understanding What’s Available to You
It’s not easy to choose between plans – especially when there are many options available.
Medicare Supplement Plans are typically labeled A-D, F, G, K, L, M, and N.
Pricing can feel like the obvious decision-maker, but oftentimes, with Medicare Supplement Plans, the pricing is pretty standardized between carriers. The only difference in pricing would be between the different plans themselves (like Plan F vs. Plan N).
Prioritizing What You Need Most
The biggest thing to consider is that, if you choose a supplement plan based simply on pricing, you run the risk of not having the coverage you need.
What you have to consider in this case is what’s important to you – what coverage do you see yourself requiring the most?
Medicare Supplement Plans can include the following coverage:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
- Part B coinsurance or copayment
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charge
- Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits)
- Out-of-pocket limit
When you’re choosing between plans, consider what you need coverage for the most and which options you might want to consider going without.
For example, maybe know in advance that you’ll need Part B coinsurance or copayment and Blood, but you don’t see any need for skilled nursing facility care coinsurance. Then, you might choose Medicare Supplement plans A or B.
Choosing a Carrier
In order to differentiate themselves from the pack, many carriers are choosing to add ancillary benefits to their Medicare Supplement Plans.
These benefits can include discounted dental and vision plans, as well as, special fitness programs and more.
This serves to allow carriers to provide their client’s with a clear differentiator – something that allows their supplement plan to stand out against the competition.
The important thing to remember in this, is that no matter what carrier you choose, your A-D, F, G, K, L, M, and N Medicare Supplement Plans will all offer the same benefits and come at the same or similar premiums.
One carrier might offer an additional benefit, but you will not lose coverage on any of the plans that you choose from one carrier to another.
So, What Medicare Supplement Plan is Right for You?
Medicare Supplement Plans are a simple way to get more of what you need. They literally supplement Medicare, so that you can get the exact coverage you need.
These types are plans are typically a better option for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with Medicare Advantage Plans, but still need more coverage than what’s provided through Original Medicare.
Choosing the right Medicare Supplement plan really depends on you! If it doesn’t provide the coverage you need and expect then it’s not plan you need.
One important option to consider is to simply get help. Because there’s so much to consider with Medicare Supplement Plans, it’s often helpful to find a local advisor/agent who can explain exactly what each Medicare Supplement Plan provides, how you will benefit from it, and what you can expect going forward. Plus, these agents will cost you nothing!
Agents are paid by carriers, are unbiased towards any one plan, and are really there to help you determine the best plan for you, personally, based on your needs and priorities.
They can even provide ongoing advice, no matter what you might encounter with your plan.
So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to a Plan Advisor near you to get started!