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Medicare SELECT

If you are looking for a Medigap Plan with low monthly premiums, a Medicare SELECT plan may be the right option for you. However, Medicare SELECT plans are more uncommon than other plan types and have strict limits on the doctors and hospitals you can use. It’s important to weigh both the costs and the benefits before deciding if a plan is right for you.

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Medicare SELECT is a type of  Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan that helps cover the gaps in Original Medicare. There are ten standard Medigap plans, from Plan A through Plan N. Each program offers different benefits. These supplemental plans pay for things like co-pays, deductibles, hospice care, medical emergencies while traveling, and doctors’ charges that exceed the amounts paid by Medicare.

What is Medicare SELECT?

Medicare SELECT works like a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). This plan requires you to use doctors and hospitals in its network, except in emergency situations. In exchange for this restriction, Medicare SELECT plans may have lower monthly premiums than other supplemental plans.

Medicare SELECT plans offer the same benefits as traditional plans, which include coverage for hospitalization, doctor visits, and other medical services. However, a Medicare SELECT plan may have different rules for how you access services and may require referrals from your primary care physician to see specialists.

It’s important to note that Medicare SELECT plans are only available in certain areas and may have limited provider networks. Before enrolling in a Medicare SELECT plan, you should carefully review the plan’s details and network to ensure that it meets your healthcare needs.

What is a Medicare SELECT Plan?

Medicare SELECT plans limit you to a network of specific doctors, specialists, and hospitals. If you go to a healthcare provider or hospital that is outside the network, your coverage will not pay unless it’s an emergency.

You’ll be responsible for paying anything that Part A and Part B don’t cover. You usually need a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist or go to the hospital. In this way, Medicare SELECT operates much like an HMO.

Medicare SELECT plans are not in every state. Insurance companies decide whether they want to offer this type of policy in a particular area.

How Do I Enroll in Medicare SELECT?

The best time to enroll in Medicare SELECT is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins with the month you are 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. During this period, you can’t be denied coverage or charged extra because of your health.

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If you miss this window, you can enroll at any other time of the year. You will just have to go through medical underwriting. 

Is Medicare SELECT the Best Plan for Me?

Before deciding on Medicare SELECT, find out whether the doctors and hospitals you like to use are in the policy. If you want to see the doctor out of the network, you save a small amount of premium but end up paying more than a regular Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan. Also, consider how important it is to be able to choose your specialists as well as where you would go for severe illness.

Does Medicare SELECT Cover Me While I’m Traveling?

Think about how often you travel out of your immediate area. Consider the hassle of going to your primary care doctor every time you need a referral. Weigh these against the potential monthly savings in a SELECT plan.

What if I’m Not Happy with my Medicare SELECT Plan?

If you do decide on a Medicare SELECT plan, you have 12 months to change your mind. Within this time frame, you can switch to a standard Medigap policy. You can switch to another plan if you move out of your insurance company’s coverage area or if your insurer decides to stop offering your SELECT program in your area.

If in the first 12 months of coverage, you decide standard Medigap is more suitable than a SELECT plan, you can switch without worrying about underwriting.

Medicare SELECT vs. Medicare Advantage?

As stated above, these plans work very similarly to an HMO Medicare Advantage Plan. There are similarities. These plans are available in specific areas; also, they restrict doctors and hospitals.

Medicare SELECT plans are different from Medicare Advantage plans because they don’t have a copayment schedule like the Medicare Advantage plans. Also, SELECT plans don’t include Part D, dental, or any other benefits. However, depending on the Medigap company, you might be able to purchase an Active & Fit benefit or some other wellness coverage.

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How to Compare Rates on Medicare SELECT Plans

If you are interested in exploring Medicare SELECT plans in your area or wish to compare several Medicare plans, we have you covered. At MedicareFAQ our team of licensed Medicare insurance agents can help educate you on all the different plan types available in your area and allow you to choose the best plan for your health insurance needs and budget.

To get started comparing plans today, contact us at the number above or complete our online rate comparison form.

Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare guru serving as the Editor of MedicareFAQ.com. Upon completing her Communications degree from Ohio University, Kayla dedicated her time to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare. With her extensive background as a Licensed Insurance Agent, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her writing.
Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Manager
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Manager for MedicareFAQ. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.

3 thoughts on "Medicare SELECT"

  1. Mostly, my point was that the Medigap select plans are being marketed as a supplement unless you are smart enough to ask about the preferred list of providers you must use or have payment excluded. Read the contract. Great article. I thought a supplement was a supplement covering the 20% until I found this article! Why BCBS in AL you ask. 1. Probably 95% of providers accept BCBS. 2. Checked on a Humana supplement G and some of my doctors did not participate. 3. The marketplace has nothing to do with Medicare to my knowledge but all insurers in AL have pulled out of that but BCBS. While others may sell insurance, they are not interested in providing a competitive market and may not cover a lot of counties. 4. Some of the Aetna policies in my area are underwritten by Continental Insurance in Brentwood, TN. Not good or bad just not Aetna. 5. In my mind if you buy a Medicare supplement it needs to be long term with a company that will be there and it does not need to be a select supplement PPO or HMO that if someone gets in the mix who is not a select or preferred provider then it is not covered. 6. I found a lot of complaints on Humana and United Healthcare. Valid or not I cannot say but where there is smoke…Note that some companies charge more for a Medigap Select than other for a full Medigap. Great site. Keep up the good work.

  2. Lindsay, I am 66 and just got SS and Medicare A & B. No one explained Medigap Select until I shopped BCBS of Alabama. They have a Blue Advantage plan and C Plus Medicare Select supplements only. My goal was to enroll in a Plan G supplement plan. After reading the C Plus I realized that they required C Plus Preferred Providers for the 20% and coverage was excluded except for emergency care if they were not. I called BCBS of Alabama and they told me they cover anything Medicare approves. I pointed out the Plan G contract and the Summary of Benefits on their website under enrollment requires the C Plus Preferred Providers and exclusions. The reps and advisor kept telling me that is not the way it works. I emailed their advisor with their documents attached requesting a contract or benefit summary document that supported coverage of the 20% for any Medicare approved process. Any other insurers in the state do not seem to have a good base of doctors in their plans. At the end of the day I enrolled in the Blue Advantage Plan because of the coverage exclusions in the C Plus Plan G. If you are paying $185 for a select plan (not good for travel, moving, HMO/PPO process, potential loss of benefit if someone gets in the mix that is not in the plan, not so low risk) plus $43.20 for Part D and approx. $30 for dental; you are looking at $250 plus $145 for Medicare B. Also, these plans go up each year. I feel robbed out of a Medicare Select Plan because the only major insurance company in Alabama (95% of Doctors) only has Advantage or Select Supplement plans with exclusions. The did not have a real supplement plan. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Gilbert! Happy to help! Is there a reason you want to stick with BCBS? I ask because when I do a generic search in Alabama for Plan G, there are tons of other carriers that offer it. The premiums start at around $109 per month. Again, this is a general estimate, we need to get more information from you to get an accurate quote. You signed up for a Medicare Advantage, which works completely different than a Medicare Supplement plan, like Plan G. It sounds like you may be eligible for Trial Rights, which should grant you guaranteed issue if you wanted to leave your Advantage plan and enroll in a supplement plan. I would recommend giving us a call, we can definitely help!


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