Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans: How to read the grid
This is the chart of Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans. As you can see, the plans have letter names A through N.
Plans A through G are the traditional Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans. These supplements act and appear basically unchanged since they first entered the market in 1990. As you can see from the chart, a benefit is either paid at 100% or not paid at all. It is important to remember that these benefits are actually 100%, not a dollar amount. This is important, because many of Medicare’s deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance amounts change at the beginning of every year, but a 100% benefit will remain 100% for the life of the policy.
Plans K & L are called Cost Sharing Supplements. They pay the percentage of a charge listed on the page after Medicare pays their share, leaving you with some costs to pay until you have paid your maximum out of pocket cost. Be aware that the maximum out of pocket cost increases at the beginning of each year.
Plans M & N are called Modernized Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans and have only been on the market since June of 2010. Plan M is similar to many of the original supplements, except you will still have to pay half of the Medicare Part A deductible. Plan N is also very close to the original supplements, except you might be billed up to $20 for some doctor office visits and up to $50 for some emergency room visits. These co-pay amounts are written into the policy, and while they can change in the future, they are not expected to go up every year like a copay typically would do.
With all Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, they are guaranteed renewable, meaning the insurance company cannot take it away from you if your health changes, for any reason except non-payment of your insurance premium.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are also non-networked, meaning you will be able to use any of these plans with any doctor, any hospital, in any state in the United States, as long as they accept Medicare. There is a type of supplement called a Medicare SELECT plan, which requires you use certain networked hospitals. So always make sure when you are looking for a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans without network restrictions, you look for a “Traditional Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans.”
The Supplement Grid Part 2 - Benefits Explained
The Supplement Grid Part 3 - Choosing the Right Supplement for Me