The best Medicare Supplement plans are unique to each individual Medicare recipient. The best plan for you may not be the best plan for another beneficiary.
Understanding how Medicare works will help guide you in the right direction to find what Medicare Supplement plan is best for you.
If you’re preparing to join the 57 million Americans who receive Medicare benefits, it’s time for a large helping of research into an alphabet soup of plans.
Best Medicare Supplement Plans
First, the Basics
Medicare, the United States health insurance program for the elderly, was established in 1965. Beneficiaries 65 and older, as well as some disabled beneficaries, are eligible.
Those enrolled in Social Security will receive their Medicare card when they turn 65 automatically.
Although, in some cases people will need to apply for coverage. While Medicare covers many healthcare costs, it does not cover everything.
Thus, the term “Medigap,” doughnut hole or supplemental coverage.
Medicare Consists of 4 Parts:
- Hospital Insurance – Part A
- Medical Insurance – Part B
- Medicare Advantage – Part C
- Prescription Drug Plans – Part D
Medicare Advantage plans, much like an HMO or PPO, cover many of the same gap benefits that a supplemental policy would cover.
However, if you sign up for Medicare Advantage, you can’t have a Medigap policy.
The Social Security Department publication about Medicare has detailed information about eligibility and enrollment deadlines.
Beyond the Basics
If you don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may decide you need to buy more coverage to supplement your Medicare.
To find the best Medicare Supplemental insurance, you’ll need to consider what gaps you need to fill. Look for coverage that helps pay for deductibles, co-payments and other costs over what basic Medicare plans will cover.
How to Find the Best Medigap Plans
Certain states also offer Medicare SELECT plans, which may limit your providers but cost less.
Plans A Through N
- First, about those ABCs: Medigap Plans A,B,C, and D have the same names as Medicare Part A,B,C,and D. But they are not the same.
- Second, no need to worry about plans E,H,I,and J as you research the best supplemental insurance for Medicare. These policies are not longer available for purchase, although if you have them, you can still keep them.
Compare and Contrast
- First, the when: The best time to buy a policy is during Open Enrollment. Find a full list of Medicare Enrollment Periods here.
- Second, a qualifier: You have to receive Original Medicare Parts A and B to buy a policy.
- Lastly: None of the gap policies cover vision or dental care, long-term care or private-duty nursing.
- Community rated, which isn’t based on age
- Age-related according to when the policy is issued
- Attained age, which means the policy grows more expensive as you age