Why Choose Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2017?

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Why Choose Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Medicare Supplement (MS) Plans, or “Medigap,” are retiree health plans that you buy from private insurance companies and help you pay for out-of-pocket expenses that Part A and Part B doesn’t cover. These costs include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, but do not include Part D prescription drugs, dental, vision, or additional services.

You may want to purchase this type of plan if you want help paying for out-of-pocket costs that Part A and B doesn’t cover. With an MS plan, you can continue to see any doctor or provider who accepts Medicare.

Is it Right for Me?

MS plans are a good choice for beneficiaries who want the benefits of Parts A and B but need help covering the leftover expenses not covered by the traditional plan. Here are some key reasons to pair them together:

  • You see the doctor often and need extra help paying for health care expenses such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs that Part A and B doesn’t cover.
  • You’re a frequent traveler, or you need the option to see any doctor, specialist, or provider in the United States who accepts Part A and B.
  • You’d prefer paying a higher premium to have lower out-of-pocket costs for receiving care.

You’ll need to weigh the benefits and risks of Part A and B, MS, and Medicare Advantage (MA), also called Part C, and determine which option is best for you. We can help you make your decision with our Suggest-a-Plan tool, which gives you a recommendation based on a few personal details.

Or, learn more about the differences between the plan types by reading Which Plan Is Right for Me?

Getting Enrolled

To get an MS plan, you must have Original Part A and Part B. You’ll apply with a private insurance company that offers it in your state and pay the monthly premium to the insurance company.

This type of plan comes in a range of 10 plan options with different sets of benefits, all named after a letter of the alphabet from A to N.

All plans cover the Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after the benefits are used up. After that, the benefits vary depending on the plan. For example, only a few—C, D, F, G, M, and N—offer coverage for emergencies while traveling abroad.

Need more details? We have a complete breakdown of the benefits of each Medigap plan.

It’s important to note that not every insurance company offers every plan, so make sure you check to see which options are available in your area.

Here are a few more details about MS plans:

  • You cannot have both an MA and MS plan.
  • It does not cover prescription drugs.
  • You can enroll in it or change your plan once each year during a six-month period (some states have additional enrollment options).


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