A Medicare supplement plan is a health-care plan that is offered by private insurances to supplement the original one, other known as Medicare basic. The original Medicare plan is divided into the Medicare Part A for hospital insurance, Medicare Part B for medical insurance, Medicare Part C, other known as medical advantage and part D, which covers prescription drugs. No matter which of these original plans one might have, in most cases not all expenses end up getting covered and patients are still left paying extra for things like insurance overseas and in some cases prolonged hospital visits and special medical treatments. The Medicare supplement plans are specifically there to help these patients lower their costs.
The Medicare supplement plans will only be available to those who are and stay enrolled in an original Medicare one. One can´t have a supplement plan without already paying for the original, basic one. There are some requirements to be able to enroll to one of the Medicare supplement plans. For example, some states only offer it to patients who are over 65 years old and people younger than that can only get the original Medicare option.
Currently, there are 10 different plans, known by the letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and they are all available in most states in the exact same form and whatever the state, the benefit you would get out of, for example, a G supplement plan will remain the same. Which of these plans Is best, depends on the individual´s personal health state and their yearly expenses for health care.
What do supplement plants cover?
These supplement plans cover firstly hospital costs, that the original Medicare plan no longer covers due to reaching a certain amount of days in hospice. They also stand as a coinsurance that pays for skilled nursing facility care, for abroad health insurance,
What isn´t covered?
It is important not to forget, that the supplement plan doesn´t cover everything either. For example, patients who need long-term care, such as in a nursing homes, won´t be able to rely on their supplement plan for cost coverage. Dental care and routine visits, eyeglasses, hearing aids and prescription drugs are also not covered by this plan. For prescription drugs, there are separate basic plans such as the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (D).
It might not be as easy to find out which plan works best and whether you need a supplement plan in the first place. However, taking a look at what is covered and comparing it to one´s personal situation and needs will help get you a step further. In general, the supplement plan is beneficial to patients who have a basic plan, but need a lot of doctor´s visits or frequent hospitalizations due to a health condition, to those who want the peace of mind knowing that medical expenses will be covered, should anything unforeseen happen and to those who travel through the States a lot and want to be able to get medical help wherever they are.