2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
Understanding the specific Medigap benefits offered in a supplemental healthcare plan is important towards deciding whether or not you need Medigap in the first place. Some people blindly jump into purchasing a Medigap plan thinking that it is the magic bullet to cure their healthcare ills only to realize later that even Medigap has shortcomings with regard to coverage if you choose the wrong policy. More to the point, knowing the exact Medigap benefits is paramount when selecting which Medigap plan suits your needs.
The typical items that Medigap benefits cover include Part A coinsurance for a year beyond what’s covered by standard Medicare, Part B coinsurance, blood needs, Hospice care coinsurance for Part A policies, nursing facility coinsurance, deductibles for Part A and Part B, excess charges for Part B, and foreign travel emergency insurance.
Consequently, the areas not covered by Medigap include dental care, vision needs like contact lenses and eyeglasses, or long-term skilled nursing care. Irrespective of the Medigap policies that you choose, these items are not included in any form of Medigap offer.
When selecting the right Medigap policy for you, it is important to cross-reference your needs versus what Medigap benefits are included in any specific policy. This is where it becomes tricky; ideally, one would need the policy that offers the most coverage in a variety of areas. However, given financial considerations associated with paying the premiums, one should be deliberate enough to choose only the policies that offer the necessary Medigap benefits in order to not overspend on otherwise unnecessary items on the coverage.
Here is a quick breakdown of the various Medigap policies to aid customers in choosing the plan that’s best for them:
§ Plan A. Covers 100% part A and Part B coinsurance, blood donations, and 100% Part A hospice care.
§ Plan B. All the Medigap benefits covered in Plan A plus Medicare Part A deductible.
§ Plan C. All the Medigap benefits covered in Plan B plus skilled nursing facility coinsurance, Part B deductible and foreign travel emergency assistance.
§ Plan D. All the Medigap benefits covered in Plan C except Part B deductible.
§ Plan F. All the stated Medigap benefits. Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage of all available Medigap policies on offer.
§ Plan G. All the Medigap benefits covered in Plan F except Part B deductible.
§ Plan K. Covers 100% Part A coinsurance, 50% Part B coinsurance, 50% blood coverage, 50% Part A hospice care, 50% skilled nursing care, and 50% Part A deductibles.
§ Plan L. All the coverage for Plan K except that the 50% share is scaled up to 75%.
§ Plan M. All the Medigap benefits covered in Plan D except that Part A deductible is only covered up to 50%.
§ Plan N. All the Medigap benefits covered in Plan D except for Part B coinsurance which has some qualifying stipulations.
A prospective Medigap policy owner should be diligent enough to look at all these options and then choose based on the compatibility of the need versus the Medigap benefits offered. As such, the best approach in picking a Medigap policy is to check each one individually and then choose the plan than best fits your particular medical needs.