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Medicare supplement plans (also called Medigap) are standardized policies that work with your original Medicare coverage to help pay some of the out-of-pocket costs you may have when visiting the doctor or hospital. These plans are sold by private insurance companies and are regulated by the Department of Insurance.

These standardized Medicare Supplement plans are available in all states and cover the same benefits no matter which insurance company sells them to you. This means that you can buy a Plan G policy from UnitedHealthcare and get the same benefits as someone who bought the same policy through Aetna.

Standardized Benefits

Medicare Supplement plans offer a wide variety of benefits that are not included in Original Medicare. These include coverage for some preventive care, yearly checkups, and other medical services. Some also cover deductibles and copayments when you go to the doctor or the emergency room.

Some plans also cover prescription drugs for an additional premium. This can be a good choice for people with creditable drug coverage from their employer or retiree health Visit URL insurance, or if they have a high prescription drug cost because of their medication history or health conditions.

Your Needs and Wallet

Medicare supplement plans come in a variety of prices, depending on the insurance company that you buy them from. Some will have higher premiums than others, but the coverage levels are standard in all of them.

Buying at the Right Time

The best time to buy a Medicare supplement policy is during your one-time Open Enrollment period, which starts when you enroll in Part B and is usually six months after you turn 65. If you apply outside of this period, you may be denied coverage or charged more based on your health history.

Guaranteed Issue

If you apply for a Medicare supplement policy during your one-time Open Enrollment Period, you will be guaranteed to have a policy if you meet the insurer’s eligibility requirements. This is called “guaranteed issue.” If your policy lapses or you choose not to renew it, you cannot get coverage from an insurer again.

Your Premiums Will Increase

If the insurer raises its premiums for Medicare supplement plans, it must be approved by the Indiana Department of Insurance. The department uses a loss ratio to determine whether the insurance company will make a profit on its premiums.

How to Compare Medicare Supplement Plan Options

There are eight standardized Medicare Supplement plans that insurance companies can sell. These are labeled A through N, with a high deductible version of Plan F and Plan G offered to people who are eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.

The insurance companies must provide the standardized Medicare Supplement plan letters to each customer, so it is easy to find out what each plan covers and how much it will cost you. The premiums for each Medicare Supplement plan can be a bit different because of the varying benefit amounts.

Consider Your Needs

Having a clear idea of what you need in your health insurance will help you narrow down your choices of Medicare supplement plans and make the right decision. For example, you might want to find a plan that will pay 100% of your Medicare Part B coinsurance costs for doctor visits, lab tests, and other medical services.

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