Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans: Choosing the Right One For Me
You should be aware that the best selling Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in the United States at this moment is the plan F. But that does not mean that is the best plan for everyone. A person who chooses a plan F will have all of their Medicare-approved bills paid at the 100% level. However, like all other health insurance, since it provides the most coverage, it is also the most expensive to own. Plan C is identical to the F except it does not cover excess. Not all states have excess charges. If you live in a state like Ohio or Pennsylvania, where excess cannot be charged, a C or an F plan will be identical for you in every way.
Just as C is identical to F except F pays the excess, D and G are also the same, except G pays the excess. A D & G plan is similar to a C & F plan, except the D & G plan leave you to pay the part B deductible. All other bills which Medicare approves are covered at 100%. It is very important when selecting a plan, you compare the premiums between the two as the cost difference between F & G, for example, can be significantly more than the deductible G would make you pay, meaning you would save money by choosing the G over the F in some cases.
F has a high deductible option. With this option, the supplement would make you pay all of Medicare’s co-payments, deductibles, and co-pays, until you have reached that deductible each year, at which time, it becomes a regular F plan, paying 100% of what Medicare leaves. The high deductible resets every January 1st and is indexed for inflation every year, getting higher as the years progress.
Plans K&L leave a person with a little bit of something to pay in every circumstance until they have reached their maximum out of pocket. If you are considering one of these plans, decide if the premium savings is worth the cost sharing you would be required to pay as you use the supplement.
Plan M is similar to the plan D & G except you will have to pay 50% of the Part A deductible. Plan N is similar to the plan D & G except there is a copay when you see certain doctors or go to an emergency room.
One last thing to know when choosing a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans: by federal law, every supplement is identical in its benefits, regardless of the company you choose. A plan F from company A will pay the same benefits to the same doctor as a plan F from company B. Your premium will be different, your customer service will be different, and some companies may add a value-added service. Everything else is expected to be equal regardless of which company you choose. A value-added service may be taken away from you by the insurance company at any time. We caution our clients against choosing a company based on these extra services.
UPDATE: Beginning January 1, 2020, newly eligible persons for Medicare are not able to purchase plans C or F. This does not affect people currently in those plans, nor does it stop people previously eligible for them from purchasing a new C or F plan. For more information, please contact us.