Supplement insurance is secondary insurance to your primary government insurance (Medicare Parts A and B) offered by private insurance companies. Medicare supplement insurance can be purchased all year it is not confined to Medicare open enrollment.
The guaranteed coverage period is the month of your 65th birthday and six months after. It is different from the Medicare Enrollment Period which is three months before your birth month and three months after. It is the period when you are guaranteed coverage from a private insurance company with no health questions.
There are a number of Medicare supplement plans A-N but the most important popular are:
Plan F: We call it the Cadillac of plans it usually is the most expensive and pays 20% of the Medicare approved medical charges (Medicare Part A and Part B pays 80% of approved medical charges), as well as the Part A and B deductibles. You may be refused coverage (usually due to health) except during your guaranteed periods. when you are 65 (the month of your birthday and six months after) and when you first leave your employer insurance when you are 65 and older. Plan F is the only plan guaranteed issue when you leave your employer insurance if you missed your guaranteed period when you were 65.
Plan G: We call it the BMW of plans it pays the same 20% as Plan F but does not pay the Part B deductible. You can be refused coverage except during your guaranteed period when you are first 65. It also pays 100% of “excess charges” read individual policies for what is covered.
Plan N: We call it the Kia of plans it is the same as Plan F except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that do not result in an inpatient admission. It does not pay the Part B deductible. You can be refused except during your guarantee period when you first turn 65.
HDF (high-deductible F): We call it the Pinto of plans (not in all states). You must pay for all Medicare approved costs (coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles) up to the deductible amount of $2,140 (2015) before you policy pays anything. After you meet your annual deductible the plan pays everything like Plan F.
Supplement insurance is sold by private insurance companies but regulated and standardized by Medicare, the states of Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have different rules. Insurance companies can offer additional benefits such as cover medical expenses when you are traveling out of the country. It is important to read your policy because all Insurance plans have a lifetime plan limit.
If you have Medicare supplement insurance you probably will need a separate drug plan, Medicare Part D. You can only enroll in a Drug Plan (Medicare Part D) during open enrollment for Medicare October 15 thru December 7 except when you first go on Medicare (when you have guaranteed coverage).
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