Medicare Supplement Plans
Information on Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap Plans, are insurance policies that help cover some or all of the deductible, coinsurance, copay, and excess charge gaps that are not covered by Medicare, and are available to anyone enrolled in part A and B of Medicare.
Medicare supplements are somewhat unique in that, although this is insurance, Medicare has mandated a level of standardization that makes it easier to shop for Medicare supplements. As an example, many people aren’t familiar with the fact that a Medicare Supplement Plan F from one company can be priced at $200/month while the same exact plan and coverage from another company can be around $100/month. No difference in benefit. No difference in physician’s networks. The exact same Medicare supplement coverage! That bit of understanding can save someone $100/month or almost $1,200/year. We can ensure you find the Medicare supplement plan that’s going to save you the most money. Get your Medicare Supplement Insurance quote online with us today!
Additionally, if you are just turning 65, you are guaranteed acceptance in any medicare supplement plan from any carrier as long as you enroll in a plan within six months after you turn age 65. All you have to do is make sure you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, pick and plan, and submit your application.
What Medicare Doesn’t Cover
Medicare does not cover all health care costs. Medicare coverage consists of Part A (which covers hospital and skilled nursing facility care), and Part B (which covers doctor bills and other medical expenses).
Even with Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, you’re responsible for some out-of-pocket expenses including:
- Part A hospital deductible ($1,340)
- Part B deductible ($183)
- Copayments for hospital stays over 60 days
- Care in a skilled nursing facility after 20 days
- 20% coinsurance for doctor bills and other medical expenses
Medicare Supplement Plans are Standardized
By law, Medicare Supplement insurance is standardized into twelve plans (Plans A through N). That means Plan F from one company must include the same benefits as plan F from another company. Since Medicare Supplement insurance plans are standardized and all insurance companies offer the same basic supplemental coverage, your Medicare supplement choice comes down to price and a company’s service, reputation and experience with Medicare supplement insurance policies.
In addition to the standard Plan A-L Medicare supplement health care policies, Medicare SELECT is a type of Medicare Supplement health care policy that can cost less than standard Medicare supplemental. However, you can only go to certain doctors and hospitals for your care. In Illinois, Medicare Select plans are offered by BlueCross Blue Shield of Illinois.
Illinois – Most Popular Medicare Supplement Companies
BCBSIL – Most Popular Illinois Medicare Supplement Plans
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois offers the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in Illinois with the most competitive rates. For additional information on these plans:
Mutual of Omaha – Lowest Cost Illinois Medicare Supplement Plans
Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement Plans are highly popular in Illinois and usually have the lowest rates. They take an attained-age rating approach to pricing their Medicare supplements and have lower rates for non-tobacco users.
To qualify for a Medicare Supplement policy, you must be age 65 or older (may vary by state), enrolled in Medicare parts A and B, and you must reside in the state in which you are applying for supplemental coverage.
When to Enroll
Your open enrollment period is the best time to buy a Medicare Supplement policy because companies must sell you any plan they offer regardless of your pre-existing health conditions. Your open enrollment period lasts for 6 months and begins on the first day of the month in which you are age 65 or older and enrolled in Part A and B of Medicare.
An insurer must offer you any plan it sells and cannot charge more because of present or past health conditions during open enrollment.
To help control rising costs, carriers apply the pre-existing condition clause to newly issued Medicare Supplement plans in most states if you enroll after the open enrollment period. Expenses resulting from a condition existing six months prior to the supplemental policy effective date are not covered unless they are incurred three months after the supplemental policy effective date.
If the supplemental policy replaces another creditable individual or group insurance coverage due to a person’s eligibility for Medicare, this Pre-Existing Conditions Limitation will be reduced by the number of months that coverage was in force. If this supplemental policy replaces another Medicare Supplement policy, this Pre-Existing Conditions Limitation will be reduced by the number of months that the coverage was in force.
Medicare Supplement Basic Benefits
Basic benefits included in all plans include:
- Hospitalization – Part A coinsurance plus coverage for 365 additional days after Medicare benefits end.
- Medical Expenses – Part B coinsurance (generally 20% of Medicare-approved expenses), or in the case of hospital outpatient department services under a prospective payment system, applicable copayments.
- Blood – First three pints of blood each year.
Medicare Supplement Benefits by Plan
The chart below shows the standard benefits included in each plan.
|Skilled Nursing Coinsurance||–||–||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X|
|Part A Deductible||–||–||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X|
|Part B Deductible||–||–||–||–||X||–||–||–||–|
|Part B Excess||–||–||–||–||100%||100%||–||–||100%|
|Foreign Travel Emergency||–||–||X||X||X||X||–||–||X|
|At Home Recovery||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
*Plan F also has a high deductible option, which some companies may offer. These high deductible plans pay the same benefits as Plan F after one has paid a calendar year $2,200 deductible. Benefits from high deductible Plans F will not begin until out-of-pocket expenses exceed $2,200.
**Plan K and Plan L provide for different cost-sharing than plans A-F. Once you reach the annual limit, the plan pays 100% of the Medicare copayments, coinsurance and deductibles for the rest of the calendar year. The out-of-pocket annual limit does NOT include charges from your provider that exceed Medicare-approved amounts, called “excess charges.” You will be responsible for paying excess charges.