Laying a Solid Foundation | Lesson 2

Medicare Supplement Basics

Medicare Supplements are also referred to as Medigap because they fill in the “gaps” that exist in Original Medicare coverage.

The gaps we’re referring to are the deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs that beneficiaries are responsible for with Original Medicare.

Generally speaking, Original Medicare only covers about 80 percent of costs, and the other 20 percent is the beneficiary’s responsibility.

Medicare Supplements are designed to help cover that 20 percent!

One benefit of Medicare Supplements is the lack of network restrictions.

A Medicare Supplement beneficiary can experience increased coverage, while maintaining the same access to providers as Original Medicare.

Broad access to providers make Medicare Supplements a great option for snowbirds or other seniors who spend extended time away from home.

In addition to lifestyle considerations, this flexibility also affords beneficiaries the option to go to a specialized hospital that excels in a specific treatment or a particular surgery if needed.

Now that you know a bit more about the access to providers, let’s talk about what is covered in the different Medicare Supplement plans.

Although there is some variation, most states use the same standardized plan structure for Medicare Supplements.

With the exception of Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the remaining states and D.C. have the same 10 standardized plans.

Not to be confused with the “parts” of Medicare, Medicare Supplements are referred to as plans.

Plan A, Plan G, and Plan N are a few examples.

In this standardized model, every Plan N offers the same coverage, regardless of the carrier providing that coverage.

The same is true for each of the other Med Supp plan types.

Since these plans offer the same coverage, one of the biggest factors for beneficiaries to compare is premium price.

However, many plans also offer value-added benefits like a tele-doctor service or gym membership that might set them apart.

One note on eligibility before we close.

In order to be eligible for a Medicare Supplement, the beneficiary must have Medicare Part A and Part B.

From there, you can help them determine what plans are available in their state and explain different coverage options.

Head over to the next lesson to learn more about the different Medicare Supplement coverage options!

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