When an individual becomes eligible for Medicare, they get inundated with various supplemental Medicare plan option advertisements. But one of the most common questions is, are they worth it? In the article below, we’ll discuss whether Medicare Supplement plans are worth it.

Medicare Supplement Plan Coverage

For a new Medicare beneficiary, one of the most common questions is what does a Medicare Supplement policy plan do? Medicare Supplement insurance plans are standardized insurance plans.

Medicare Supplement plans are secondary plans to Original Medicare, which helps to pay the beneficiary’s out-of-pocket costs related to the federal government’s Medicare program. Depending on the plan letter chosen, the following items may have 100% coverage.

Private insurance companies provide access to Medigap coverage and administer the coverage for qualified Medicare costs.

Medicare benefits are Covered by Medicare Supplement Plans.

Medigap plans cover benefits provided by Original Medicare. Each plan letter has specific items and services that they cover. These plans are standardized, meaning the benefits are the same regardless of your chosen insurance company.

Medicare out-of-pocket costs that your Medicare Supplement health insurance can cover include:

Part A deductibles, copays, and coinsurance

Part B deductibles, copays, and coinsurance

The below chart breaks down what each Medicare Supplement plans cover, including the high-deductible versions of Plan G and Plan F.

Is Medicare Supplement coverage required?

You’re not required to enroll in Original Medicare coverage at all. However, unless you have a retirement plan from somewhat, you may be hard-pressed to find medical insurance.

It would be best if you enrolled in Medicare Part A and B to use Medicare health insurance. If you don’t do so when first eligible, you may encounter a late-enrollment period.

Of course, you can stop there and not add Medigap insurance, Part D prescription drug plan, or Medicare Part C Advantage program. However, opting to do so will leave you susceptible to unknown and crippling medical bills.

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement insurance policy and stand-alone prescription drug coverage will provide you will the most comprehensive coverage for your Medicare benefits.

Are Medicare Supplement Plans Worth the Added Cost?

Medigap policies have an additional monthly premium compared to the Medicare Part B premium. It’s wise to consider these additional monthly costs when on a fixed income. In addition, you’ll need to add a Medicare Part D plan that will also have a monthly premium.

These premiums will vary based on various factors, including your age, tobacco use, and where you live. One of the most impactful variants for the price is your chosen plan letter.

However, coverage and peace of mind are most important. For many Medicare beneficiaries, paying a Medicare Supplement premium could feel difficult. Still, when using coverage, they are well covered and don’t have to deal with hassles such as referrals and authorizations.

While Plan F may have the highest monthly premium, it’s one of the top plans chosen to be Medicare beneficiaries that are allowed to select this plan. It pays for all the remaining out-of-pocket costs related to the Original Medicare benefits.

Worth is up to the individual. However, the beneficiary doesn’t want to jump through hoops, see any doctor they choose, and want little to no out-of-pocket expenses related to health care. Medicare Supplement plans are worth their weight in gold.

Advantages and disadvantages of Medicare Supplement plans?

Medicare Supplements have several advantages and just a couple of disadvantages.

Advantages

  • No network restrictions
  • Referrals aren’t required
  • Low to no out-of-pocket costs when using the plan
  • You can change anytime, not locked into an annual contract
  • Standardized coverage
  • Covers all Original Medicare benefits

Disadvantages

  • Additional monthly premium
  • No prescription drug coverage

Enrolling in or Changing Medicare Supplement Plans

The best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during your six-month Open Enrollment Period. During the OEP, you can enroll in any plan and company that offers the programs in your area. You’re not required to undergo the underwriting process, and pre-existing conditions don’t apply during the period.

You’ll be required to undergo medical underwriting outside your Open Enrollment Period. In doing so, denial of coverage or a higher premium could occur. The only exception would be if you were in a guaranteed issue situation.

FAQs

What is the downside to Medigap plans?

Medigap plans have more upsides than downsides. The only downside to Medicare Supplement health insurance is the additional monthly premium; you must enroll in a Part D drug plan to cover prescription drugs.

Why is it not always a good idea to have supplemental insurance?

Suppose you’re low-income or have assistance such as Medicaid paying for your Medicare premiums and costs. In this situation, enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan may not be the best idea.

What is the difference between Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans?

Medicare Supplement plans are additional insurance purchased to offset costs related to Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are another way to receive your Medicare benefits. Like Original Medicare, these plans also have gaps in coverage and are usually network-based HMO or PPO plans.

What is the average cost of Medicare Supplement Plan N?

Medicare Supplement Plan N is one of the most popular Medigap plans. Plan N could range between $80 and $150 per month, depending on your state and situation.

What is the advantage of a Medicare Supplement over a Medicare Advantage plan?

Medicare Supplement plans have fewer restrictions and less out of pocket costs when using your health care insurance. It allows the freedom to see any doctor nationwide without additional referrals or authorizations.

How do Medicare Supplement plans work?

Medicare Supplement plans Help pay costs left over from benefits that Medicare covers. The work is secondary coverage to Original Medicare.

What is the most important thing to consider when choosing a Medicare Supplement plan?

Your situation is the most significant decision-maker in the process. You should pick a Medigap plan letter that provides coverage for your needs.

Getting Help Knowing if a Medicare Supplement is Right for you

Choosing the correct Medicare health insurance for your situation is essential. Our licensed insurance agents specialize in Medicare and can help by completing a thorough needs analysis.

Once completed, we can show you the options that match your needs, educate, answer any questions and help you through the enrollment process. Please fill out our online rate form or give us a call for Help.

Written By:
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Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare editor for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.
Reviewed By:
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Rodolfo Marrero, Rodolfo Marrero is one of the co-founders at Medigap.com. He has been helping consumers find the right coverage since the site was founded in 2013. Rodolfo is a licensed insurance agent that works hand-in-hand with the team to ensure the accuracy of the content.