Usefulness of Medicare Supplemental Plans

Medicare supplement policies can be utilized at any hospital or by any doctor anywhere in the country, no matter what company sells the plan. Most of the kinds of insurance are network based; however, this does not apply to Medicare supplement plans. Even some types of Medicare plans, Medicare Advantage plans, are network based in most cases. On the other hand, Medigap policies provide the flexibility to make use of the policy anywhere in the country where Medicare is accepted. This flexibility, particularly for sojourners, is one of the many reasons why these plans have become increasingly popular as a complement to Medicare coverage.

As a result of the 2010 Medigap Modernization Act, which took off on the 1st of June, by 2010, there were some changes from the present standardized Medicare supplemental policies. These modifications will not affect persons who are already registered in the Medigap Plan before this time and will only apply to people who enroll on or after June 1st. Medigap E, H, I and J plans are being phased out by Medicare; however, those who are currently subscribed to these plans may remain in them without change. Two benefits that are also being eliminated are the Home Recovery benefit as well as the Preventive Care benefit, as Medicare determined that these were completely underutilized by the beneficiaries.

Why the Medicare N Supplemental Plan is a Smart Alternative to a Medicare Advantage Plan When you buy Plan N, you are not subject to any network restrictions like many Advantage plans. In addition, supplements offer standardized benefits from one company to another and are easily accepted by doctors. Because these are standard plans, it is easy to compare one company with another. The difference between plan N from one company to another is the price and perceived level of customer service.

Medigap plans all payment requests through the Medicare “cross” system. There is consistency in the efficiency or speed with which one firm pays claims against another firm. Though some firms may utilize the point of sale of their punctual claims payment, this is not entirely accurate when it comes to this type of insurance. Because plans are federally standardized and pay claims under this “cross” system, you can be assured that regardless of the company, claims will be paid in a timely manner and with minimal (usually not) stakeholder participation. The Medicare supplement plans premiums are lower than others because the policyholder will share some of the outpatient costs. If you purchase this supplement you will be responsible for:

  • Part B deductible: currently $155 annually
  • Up to a $20 copay for a doctor appointment.
  • Co-pay up to $50 for an emergency room visit.