Medicare Supplement Explained
Medicare Supplement insurance is a type of policy that pays second to Medicare. Since Medicare doesn’t cover 100% of your expenses, many people elect to purchase Medicare Supplement insurance to cover the expenses left behind after Medicare pays. These expenses are usually 20% of doctor visits, ER, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and other medical expenses. If you stay overnight in the hospital, Medicare charges you a deductible of $1,260 for each period. This deductible can be charged to you multiple times in a year if you re-enter the hospital.
Medicare Supplement Benefits
Every company that offers Medicare Supplement plans (or Medigap, which is the same thing) has to offer the same benefits. The plans are standardized policies labeled A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. This means that Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s supplemental F policy covers the exact same things as Mutual of Omaha’s supplemental F, for example. Each level of coverage is represented by a different letter, with Plan F being the highest level of coverage. These plans contain the same benefits regardless of your location.
The pros of this type of insurance are:
- You get to keep your doctors and have access to any doctor or hospital in the country that accepts Medicare
- No managed care requirements, no referrals, no precertification for testing, or prior authorization
- You and your doctor plan your care, not an insurance company.
- Stability. Your plan can never be canceled on you, as long as premiums are paid.
- No out of pocket expenses, Medicare pays 80%, Medicare supplement pays 20%, you owe $0.
- Access to BJC, SSM, Saint Luke’s Hospital, Mercy Hospital as well as any other hospital in the country.
The biggest con is that you must pay a premium (on top of Part B) to whichever insurance company you choose. You will also want to add the Part D (prescription drug) benefit as well. Part D is separate from your Medicare Supplement and is an additional premium as well.
Choosing a Medigap Plan
So, how do you decide which company or plan is right for you? That’s where Steinlage Insurance Agency comes in. Our services are free and we are completely compensated by the insurance program you choose.
Our agency represents the top supplemental insurance companies nationwide. Since we work for you, (not an insurance company) we will find the lowest priced, highest rated carriers in your area.
Each and every company that is approved to offer supplemental coverage must file their rates with the State Department of Insurance. This means that the price you pay is the same no matter how you buy it.
What we do for you is find the most appropriate plan for you based on criteria like:
- Lowest monthly premium
- Coverage level that fits your needs
- Good reputation paying claims and financial stability
- Average rate increases (historically and moving forward)
- Additional discounts (married, EFT payment, zip code, gender, non-smoker and more)
Client Example: Client lives in Arlington, Virginia and turns 65 in 3 months. Client calls and we do a thorough review of all Medicare plan options that are tailored to client’s specific medications, location, and doctors. We look in-depth at the pros and cons to each plan and narrow down your decision.