The cost of your medical care may be taking a strain on your finances. If you are having trouble affording all those trips to the doctor’s office and the hospital, then you may need to get additional medical coverage. For those who already have Medicare’s basic coverage plan, you should know that there is additional coverage that you can sign up for. These are supplemental plans, and the 2018 Medicare supplement plans are a great way to decrease your out-of-pocket costs for healthcare and to make your treatments and checkups more affordable.
You might be surprised at how much of your healthcare expenses you can have covered with these plans. You can essentially have just about every medical expense covered by a supplement plan that isn’t already covered by your basic Medicare insurance. It just depends on how much coverage you are willing to pay for. Some people will need more coverage than others in order to save the most money on their healthcare.
What Medicare Supplement Plans Will Cover
Now, there are 10 Medicare supplement plans in all, and each one offers you different coverage. However, all their coverage comes from the same list that Medicare has created. The list of coverage items is made up of supplemental expenses that are not covered by the base Medicare plan. You could sign up for any one of the Medicare supplement plans and receive some coverage from his list, but how chum coverage that ends up being will be dependent which plan you choose.
Each plan has its own locked in coverage. So, if you were to buy Plan G, it will always shave the same coverage so long as Medicare doesn’t change it. It doesn’t matter whether you buy it from Mutual of Omaha or AARP or some other insurance provider. They all must provide the same level of coverage for the individual plans. Medicare regulates coverage on them so that there is no discrepancy or difference from one provider to another. The prices will vary for sure between providers, but not the coverage.
Let’s look now at what medical expenses these plans will cover for you.
Copayments- You will be covered for Medicare’s copayments or coinsurance on Part A and Part B. These are expenses not covered by the basic Medicare plan that you would have to pay also as often as you visit a doctor’s office or hospital. Most of the plans will cover both copayments, but some will only cover 50-75% of them.
Deductibles- There are two main deductibles to pay, and they are Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B deductibles. The Part A deductible is covered in some way by most all the supplement plans, but Part B will only be covered by plans F and C. This deductible costs you $183.
Part A Hospital Costs- You can be covered by all the 2018 Medicare supplement plans for all the 365 days of supplemental hospital care. This is in addition to what coverage you get from the basic Medicare plan.
Blood- The basic Medicare coverage plan will take care of some of your blood costs for you, but if you need more blood coverage, then most Medicare supplement plans will cover you for up to three more pints each year.
Foreign Travel Exchange- You can get as much as 80% coverage for your foreign travel exchange costs from most of the supplement plans. Several of them however, will not cover you at all for this expense. Even those that do cover you will require that you pay a deductible before getting any coverage.
Part B Excess Charges- This rare expense is only something that will be charged to you if you are being charged more than the maximum allowable Part B costs by your healthcare provider. That’s only going to happen if the healthcare provider is someone who has not accepted Medicare’s assignment. This is uncommon, so only two of the supplement plan will cover it for you- plans F and G.
Nursing Care Coinsurance- The majority of supplemental plans will cover you at least partially for this item.
Which One Should You Choose?
If you look at all 10 plans, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of choices you have. We are going to focus on just a few of the supplement plans, particularly the ones that most people will sign up for. These are plans that have a lot of coverage, because those people who need supplemental coverage usually feel like they need a lot of it. They want peace of mind that can only come through having most of their medical expenses covered, and these high coverage plans provide that for them.
So, let’s look at plans F, G and N. Most insurance companies will carry Plan F, and a large percentage of them carry plans G and N as well, but they are not quite as common.
Plan F was the most popular one, since it covers every supplemental expense. That’s powerful coverage, but it comes at a high cost, and people have started to shy away from it recently. They are beginning to realize that they not only don’t need the full coverage it provides but that it is also cheaper to go with Plan G or N instead.
These three plans are all very similar, and we are going to compare them for your convenience. Here is how they stack up:
- Plan F- Covers all supplemental expenses in full (everything we have listed above)
- Plan G- Covers every supplemental expense, save for the Medicare Part B deductible
- Plan N- Covers all supplemental expenses, save for two small co-payments ($20 and $50), the Medicare Part B excess charges and the Medicare Part B deductible
You should examine each of these 2018 Medicare supplement plans in turn and see which one best suits your particular needs. Take your time to ensure you are making the right choice.