Medicare Supplement Plans are part of what some call Medicare Part C. The other component of Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage Insurance, which is covered elsewhere.
Medicare Supplement Plan is designed to cover the 20% of health claims that are not covered by Medicare Parts A & B. This coverage is not cheap, but it addresses the desired purpose of filling in the gaps in coverage created because Parts A & B only cover 80% of the claim costs. However, do not confuse this with Medicare Advantage Plans. They also cover the gap but they have various limitations and deductibles.
Medicare Supplement Plan Advantages:
Seamless: When combined with Medicare Parts A&B, this coverage, though subject to a small deductible (in many cases less than $200), does provide coverage wherever Medicare Coverage is accepted. It does not however cover vision, dental or drugs. (Drugs are covered by Medicare Part D).
Widely Accepted: With Medicare Supplement Insurance you can generally use your own doctor who accepts Medicare Payments and you can use it in all states, where Medicare Coverage is accepted.
Broad Coverage: While other plans might cover dental, vision and drugs, they would generally have deductibles and/or co-pays or life/annual limits, which are not generally true for Medicare Supplement Plans.
Changes: While Medicare Supplement Plan is more costly than Medicare Advantage Plans, which do cover dental, vision and drugs, it is sometimes considered the best way to start your retirement coverage as it does cover so many medical related issues with out all the deductible, co-pay and annual limit issues.
Medicare Supplement Plan Disadvantages:
Other Coverages: Vision, Dental and Drug Coverages are generally covered under Medicare Advantage Plans and not under Medicare Supplemental Plans. Vision and dental coverages are smaller issues and usually have limited coverage anyhow, but you will have to contract separately for these when you have Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Drugs: Drug Coverage is also not covered under Medicare Supplemental Insurance. This is a big deal, but if you have Medicare Insurance you can contract separately for Medicare Part D (Drugs), when you contract for Part B. Part D covers most all drugs while Medicare Advantage Plans have different prices and different coverages (including no coverage) for each type of drug, so you need to make certain the Medicare Advantage Plan you chose covers your required drugs. Medicare Part D (Used with the Medicare Supplement Plans) does cover most all drugs.
Things to Consider
Medicare Supplement Plan is different from Medicare Advantage Insurance and is in many cases more expensive, but it does fill the 20% of claim costs not covered by Medicare parts A & B.
However, the trend in medicare insurance is toward the Medicare Advantage Plans where each procedure, each drug, each treatment, each specialty, etc., is covered by a separate coverage limit and some form of deductible or co-pay. Which is why generally you hear more advertising about Medicare Advantage Plans than Medicare Supplement Insurance. However, both are part of Medicare Part C.
EINSURANCE recommends that it is best, as a new user of Medicare Coverages, to start with Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Part D (Drug Coverage) and then transfer to Medicare Advantage Plans once you are fully aware of all your medical issues and what coverages and drugs are most important to you. You can change your selection each year during the open enrollment period (also called, OEP).
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