An Independent Medicare Health Insurance Agency

Medicare Supplement

What Is Medigap Or Medicare Supplements?

In order to buy a Medicare Supplement plan, you must have Original Medicare Parts A and B.

Before the meteoric rise of Medicare Advantage plans beginning in 2006-2007, this was really the only option you had to fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. That’s why sometimes Medicare Supplements are also called Medigap plans. Different people will call them either one of those, usually depending on what part of the country you live in.

Medicare Supplement plans have been around for a very long time but came under federal oversight in the early 1980s and have undergone several transformations since then. Today, Medicare Supplement plans come in several flavors, which have letters attached to them. These are A, B, C, D, F, High-F, G, High-G, K, L, M, and N. There’s also something called Medicare Select Plans, which are essentially Medicare Supplement plans with networks.

If you happen to live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, you may have options to choose from in addition to the letters listed above. Also, you can’t buy Medicare Supplement plans F, High-F, or C if you became eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020. If you already have one, you can keep it.

The letters associated with Medicare Supplement plans do not correlate at all to Original Medicare’s A, B, C, and D. We recommend you pay attention to Plans G and N, as they offer the most comprehensive coverage. If you turned sixty-five prior to January 1, 2020, then we’d  pay attention to C and F as well.

Medicare Supplements F and G are the only two that cover Medicare Part B Excess Charges.

Medicare Supplements are not Medicare Advantage plans. They don’t have anything to do with the notion of Managed Care, which is defined by Oxford Languages as “a system of healthcare in which patients agree to visit only certain doctors and hospitals, and in which the cost of treatment is monitored by a managing company.” They are simply insurance policies that fill in the gaps of Medicare after Medicare has paid their portion.

There are no HMO or PPO networks to mess with (except for the rare Select plans). There aren’t teams of people in place at the insurance company to make sure you’re getting the proper care if, say, you’re a diabetic or have a heart condition. If your doctor says you need an MRI, there are no Medicare insurance company rules. There are actually very few Medicare rules that make your doctor jump through hoops to get Medicare to pay for most procedures. There are typically no bells and whistles or extra benefits like dental coverage, meals, or transportation services embedded in these policies. The policies are simply paying what’s billed after Medicare pays out its portion.

Here’s how they work: Medicare Supplement plans have to be licensed and are regulated by the state and federal government, but unlike Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, the states really take the lead here. That’s why there are so many state-based exceptions to the plans offered and the renewal timeframes. In fact, when you have a complaint about a Medicare Supplement insurance company, you don’t usually call Medicare; most of the time, you call the state Department of Insurance to complain. Each year, insurance companies must meet a long list of requirements from each state to continue to offer the plans and, when necessary, change their premiums. Sometimes, the states reject a company’s plans for increasing premiums.

Related Services: Medicare Dental Plans, Medicare Agents Near Me, Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Broker

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