People who qualify for Medicare at 65 have multiple options. One of the options is called Part C “Medicare Advantage”. These plans are a substitute for Original Medicare and are typically an HMO-type plan which may also include some prescription D drug coverage within the policy. The other type of policy is called Medigap. Medigap plans are also known as a Medicare Supplement plans. Medigap plans can be paired with a standalone Part D drug plan. So why should you enroll in Medicare Supplement plan? Here are the top 5 reasons to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan.
1- Nationwide Network
One of the top 5 reasons to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan is the nationwide network. Every Medigap plan is required to contract with the same doctors, regardless which plan or carrier you enroll in. Any doctor or facility in the nation that accepts ‘Medicare Assignment’ will work with your policy. This robust nationwide network is searchable online on Medicare’s website. Most major hospitals and facilities accept Medicare, which allows members to receive health care at the best facilities across the country.
2- Low Out of Pocket Expenses
One of the top 5 reasons to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan is the low out of pocket expenses. If you qualify for Medicare before 2020, you can apply for the Plan F which has no out of pocket expenses for approved Medicare services. The Plan G has limited out of pocket expenses. Your annual out of pocket costs will be limited to your Part B Deductible. In 2020 the Part B deductible was $198.
There are many more Medigap plans available with different out of pocket thresholds. Depending the plan you select, you may save thousands of dollars compared to a Part C “Medicare Advantage Plan”.
3- Customized Drug Coverage
One of the top 5 reasons to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan is the ability to customize your drug coverage. Every year, you can change your drug plan based on your needs. You can enroll in drug coverage with any carrier that offers a Part D plan where you live. You can apply for these plans during the Annual Enrollment Period. The Annual Enrollment Period starts on 10/15 and ends on 12/7 for coverage starting 1/1. Part D drug plans do not ask health questions.
Unlike Part C “Medicare Advantage” Plans, you can choose a plan based on your needs. Part C “Medicare Advantage” Plans offer some drug coverage, but you cannot modify the drug plan within the policy. Furthermore, you cannot enroll in a standalone Part D Drug plan with a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan.
4- No HMO
One of the top 5 reasons to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan is that these plans are not HMO. Most Part C plans are HMO and force you to elect a primary care physician with a limited network. Medigap plans do not require you to elect a Primary Care Physician. Furthermore, Medicare Supplement plans do not require you to get a referral before seeking medical care with a Specialist.
5- Regulated Benefits
One of the top 5 reasons to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan is the regulated benefit structure. Every insurance carrier must offer the same plans. For example, a Plan G with one insurance company is the same in benefit as any other Plan G available in the market. This regulated structure protects consumers and helps keep the insurance shopping process simple for applicants.
How to Apply
Medigap plans sometimes require people to answer health questions. Insurance companies can deny you based on health history and prescriptions if you are not in a Guaranteed Issue Period. Fortunately, you can apply for a Medigap plan at any time of the year. To learn more about your eligibility and the requirements to enroll, please give us a call today. We will guide you through the enrollment process at no extra cost to you.
You’ve most likely heard a lot about Medicare Advantage Plans, however there is something else you should know. Learn more here: Medicare Fact: Medicare Advantage Plans Are Not “Free”
By David Lasman – “Ask Medicare Dave” | President – Senior Healthcare Team
wwww.SeniorHealthcareTeam.com | 866-333-7340 Selecting the right healthcare plan through Medicare can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Senior Healthcare Team is a nationwide resource that provides guidance and support about Medicare to seniors at no cost to them and helps them to choose the most suitable insurance plan tailored to their specific needs and budget. Our goal is to educate and empower our clients to make the best decisions regarding their healthcare and clear up the confusion of Medicare. At Senior Healthcare Team, we aren’t partial to any one insurance company. Our loyalty is to our clients and our mission is to provide them with the best healthcare options at the very lowest cost.