Let us take a summary look at the available Medicare supplemental insurance plans available on the market. You are probably inundated with quotes, brochures, and advertising with let us guess�a smiling couple on the cover telling you that this is the right way to go for your coverage. That is all fine and we don�t want to begrudge the senior model market but before we get into all that material, let us really break down and compare the different Medicare supplement plans available. Then we will let you get back to your reading.
The standard Medicare supplements are A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. There use to be some older ones a few years like the H, I, and J but those are no longer available to new enrollees. There is also an F high deductible option which works like an F plan once a high deductible is met first. The plans are standardized which means that a C plan has the same benefits regardless of the carrier. Before getting into what each plan covers, let us break down the basic benefits within which they differ.
First you have the Part A Coinsurance and Hospital Benefit. This is the 20% that Medicare does not pick up once a deductible is met for facility (hospital, etc) care. Next you have the Part A Deductible which must be met for facility care first in a calendar year.
You also have a Part B (physician, lab, etc charges) deductible which needs to be met first before help with doctor visits, labs, etc. After the Part B deductible is met, you have the Part B coinsurance or copayment which is the 20% share you will pay. Part B also has an Excess charge which is the uncapped amount you will pay for doctors that choose to charge more than what Medicare allows (up to 15% higher).
There is also Skilled Nursing care and Foreign emergency travel care which are broken out separately. These are not full blown long term care or travel insurance benefits so make sure to understand what they do cover.
The first 3 pints of blood, Hospice care co-insurance, and preventative benefits are covered on all the plans we won�t discuss those. So these are the core benefits so let�s look at what each plan current (11/11) covers.
The A plan covers the Part A coinsurance (20%), Part B coinsurance (20%) but neither of the deductibles or the Excess charges. It also does not cover Nursing Facility or Foreign Travel and is generally the least expensive plan.
The B plan covers everything A covers plus the Part A (hospital) deductible which is the bigger deductible.
The C plan covers everything except for the Excess charges.
The D plan covers everything except Excess charges and Part B deductible
The F plan (the most popular choice by far) covers everything.
The G plan covers everything except for the Part B (physician) deductible.
The K plan covers Part A coinsurance but Part A deductible and Part B coinsurance are covered at 50%. Part B deductible and and Excess charges are not covered. First 3 pints, Hospice, and Nursing are also covered at 50%. Travel Emergency is not covered.
The L plan is the same as K but with 75% covered instead of 50% (a richer plan).
The M plan covers Part A Coinsurance, Part B Coinsurance, First 3 pints, Hospice, Nursing Facility, Foreign Travel, and Preventative at 100% but covers the Part A deductible at 50% and does not cover Part B Deductible and Excess Charges.
A grid makes this information easier to understand and you can find one here: http://www.mymedicaresupplementinsurance.com/medigap_grid.pdf
This information is subject to change and should be used only as a summary. Of course we can help you go over any questions or plan in more detail as your licensed Medicare supplement insurance agent. We�ll help you compare Medicare supplement plans and find the right one for you.