Things to Consider Before Opting for Medicare Supplement Plans

If you are a frequent visitor to a hospital or a doctor, then Medicare supplemental plans may help you save money. Hospital visits can burn a hole in your pocket, and these supplemental plans may be just what you need.

What are Medicare Supplemental plans?

Medicare Supplemental plans are policies sold by private companies which help cover health care costs such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, which are not covered in the Original Medicare plan, Part A and Part B. However, these are covered in Plan D of Medicare Supplement plans.

There are ten standard Medicare Supplemental plans valid in around 47 states. These plans are denoted by letters A through N of which E, H, I and J are not sold anymore. Generally speaking, it is not mandatory for private insurance companies to offer every Medicare Supplement plan, except for Plan A. Again, if the insurance company chooses to offer a plan in addition to Plan A then it must offer either Plan C or Plan F along with any other standard Medicare Supplemental plan that it offers.

It is also important to note that although the names Medigap and Medicare may sound similar, the parts of Medicare such as Part A and Part B are not the same as Plan A, Plan B of Medigap.

Here’s a list of few companies that provide Medicare Supplement plans for people over 65:

Colonial Life & Accidental Insurance Company

They offer Accident Insurance, Cancer Insurance, Critical Illness, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance and Hospital Indemnity

Liberty National Life Insurance Company

You can avail supplemental insurance as well as life insurance

Manhattan Life Insurance Company

In addition to Medicare Supplemental plans, it offers cancer insurance, dental, vision, and hearing insurance, and hospitalization benefits

MEGA Life and Health Insurance

Their supplemental portfolio includes products such as dental, vision, accident, critical illness, cancer, and other income protection products

Mutual of Omaha

They offer the Original Medicare Supplement plan (Part A & Part B) and Medicare Advantage (Part C)


It offers supplemental plans for individual, families and business owners.

What is the eligibility and how can you enroll in the Medicare Supplement plan?

If you wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, it is imperative that you be enrolled in both Part A as well as Part B of Medicare. A good time to enroll yourself in a plan is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This begins on the first day of the month you turn 65 or more and are enrolled in Part B, it lasts for six months. During this period, you are free to join any Medicare Supplement plan in the area where you live. Additionally, you will not be denied any coverage during this enrollment period on any of the pre-existing conditions. However, if you miss this enrollment period and decide to enroll later, you may be charged a higher premium or may be denied coverage depending on your medical history. In some states, you may be allowed to enroll in a Medigap plan before you are 65 years of age.

Cost of Medicare Supplement plans

Remember that even if the private insurers offer the same benefits for every lettered plan, they may charge a high premium for the insurance coverage. It is recommended if you could compare Medicare Supplement plans and select the one that best suits your medical and financial needs. Insurance agencies may price the premium of supplemental health insurance plans in the following ways:

No-age rated

Irrespective of the age, these Medicare Supplement plans are charged the same premiums across the board.

Issue-age rated

The premiums on these plans are based on your age when you enroll in the policy for the first time. In other words, the younger you are, the lower will your premium be.

Attained-age rated

These plans are similar to the issue-age-related plans in terms of the base being the age you enroll first. However, as you age, the premiums of these plans increase.

Apart from the general rating method that an insurance company uses to fix their premiums, you need to understand that premiums may increase over time due to inflation.

Coverage under Medicare Supplement plan

Although each Medicare Supplement plan may offer its members a different level of coverage, it is important that each lettered plan includes the standard benefits irrespective of the insurance company and its location. For instance, Medicare Supplement Plan G in Florida offers the same benefits as Plan G in North Dakota.

Please note that the Medicare Supplement health insurance plans in Minnesota, Wisconsin or Massachusetts are different compared to the rest of the country.

It is not mandatory for Medicare Supplement plans to cover dental, long-term care, vision or hearing aids.

Some plans may also include additional coverage such as Medicare Part A deductible, Medicare Part B deductible, Part B excess charges, Part B preventive care coinsurance, etc.

However, before making a decision, it is recommended that you compare Medicare Supplemental insurance plans and consult with your medical provider before selecting any supplemental health insurance plans for you and your family. Also, it is imperative that you diagnose or treat any health condition and take correct medications for it. Never substitute any information for a professional medical advice.

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