Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance

The Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance system, also known as Medigap, is a vital component of the government’s policy to provide adequate health care service to everyone. This system is designed to cover the essential gaps found in standard and advanced Medicare by allowing policy owners to get additional coverage on specific areas that they feel are necessary to them. Simply put, Medicare supplemental health insurance ensures that people have a safety net that allows them to get the medical attention that they need without having to drill a massive hole into their pockets purely for medical expenses.

The implementation of Medigap is governed by federal legislation that ensures everyone gets equal opportunity when it comes to Medicare supplemental health insurance. In a nutshell, one becomes eligible for Medigap when they turn 65. At the start of the month a Medicare policy owner turns 65 up until six months after is what’s termed as the free enrolment period. During this period, you can apply for a Medigap policy without pre-conditions on the part of the healthcare agency. This means that regardless of your previous medical history, your application will not be refused or turned down.

The beauty of the system is that legislation further defines the only allowable coverage that healthcare agencies can offer. To date, there are 10 total plans to choose from – Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Legislation mandates that all agencies offer the same coverage for the same plan name so the question simply becomes one of cost once the correct plan has been chosen.

The scope of each plan is outlined below in brief as a quick reference:

· Plan A. This is the most basic of all Medicare supplemental health insurance plans and also the cheapest. It only covers basic benefits but is almost always sufficient if you have advanced Medicare.

· Plan B. Plan B builds on Plan A with the addition of a Part A deductible. This means that beyond the typical coverage of Medicare Part A, a Plan B Medigap plan can foot the excess bill.

· Plan C. This includes the components of Plan B as well as skilled nursing coinsurance, Part B deductible and foreign travel emergency insurance.

· Plan D. This covers all the items on Plan C except for the Part B deductible.

· Plan F. This is perhaps the most comprehensive Medigap plan available covering all items from Plan C as well as Part B excess.

· Plan G. This covers all items on Plan F except for Part B deductible.

· Plan K. Starting with Plan K, the succeeding plans are specialized offers designed to cater to very specific Medicare supplemental health insurance needs. With Plan K, policy owners get basic benefits, 50% of Part A deductible, 50% of skilled nursing coinsurance and an out-of-pocket limit of $4,640.

· Plan L. Covers the same elements as Plan K except that the Part A deductible and skilled nursing coinsurance are set to 75% and the out-of-pocket limit is lowered to $2,320.

· Plan M. Covers basic benefits, skilled nursing coinsurance, foreign travel emergency and 50% of Part A deductible.

· Plan N. Covers Part A deductible, skilled nursing coinsurance, foreign travel emergency and $20 on office visits with $50 ER visit coverage but minus the complete basic package.

Medicare supplemental health insurance policies are useful to ensure that policy owners get adequate support for any and all of their much needed medical expenses. At a time when medical expenses are soaring through the roof, Medigap is proving to be a big assistance to policy owners that are dealing with various medical maladies. As such, the importance of Medicare supplemental health insurance can never be underestimated.