What Is a Medicare Supplement?

What is a Medicare Supplement? The question seems simple enough. However, if you are turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time, it can seem a little overwhelming. You are, no doubt, getting inundated with information in phones calls or even in the mail and computer, that people also use to play video games and go online to find what to play in overwatch and other games using the best budget mechanical keyboard for it. There is a lot of information out there, and much of it is confusing – I would even say some of it has the end-goal in mind of confusing you. But the basic foundation of understanding Medicare Supplements is understanding what they are and what they are not.

First of all, what are they? They are plans sold by private insurance companies to fill in gaps in the Federal Medicare program (Medicare Parts A and B). These plans are Federally-standardized – in other words, the government says what they must cover. There are 10 standardized plans, which are named for letters (i.e. A, F, G, N). Each plan covers different amount of “gaps” in Medicare. Here is the coverage chart that shows what they cover: Medigap coverage chart. The individual companies set their pricing, and this can vary a good bit (although the coverage is the same on “like” plans). Also, rates vary by your age and location.

These plans pay claims automatically through the Medicare “crossover” system so you do not have to file claims. Also, they can be used at any doctor/hospital that takes Medicare, which is still your primary insurance (the Medicare Supplement is secondary). The plans are sometimes called Medigap plans. The terms “Medigap” and “Medicare Supplement” are interchangeable.

So, what are Medicare Supplements NOT? Put simply, the type of plans that replace Medicare A & B, called Medicare Advantage plans, are NOT Medicare Supplements. These plans are not supplements to Medicare, but rather replacements of Medicare. Also Medicare Part D plans (the Rx coverage part of Medicare) are technically not Medicare Supplements.

Secondly, employer-type plans are generally not Medicare Supplements. They may pay secondary to Medicare and act as a supplement, but in most cases, they don’t fall under the standardized plans structure of actual Medicare Supplements.

It is important to understand the differences in terminology between Medicare Supplements and other similar types of plans. It is important to know, also, that some agents/companies may try to call their plan a Medicare Supplement, when in reality it is not. Whenever possible, we recommend using an independent broker that can assist you (for no charge) with comparing all companies and plan types.

If you have questions or wish to discuss further, please call us at 877.506.3378 or request information on our website at http://medicare-supplement.us/medicare-supplement-quotes.php.

What Does Medicare’s “Welcome to Medicare” Physical Cover?

Medicare now covers a “Welcome to Medicare” physical, as part of the “original” Medicare (Parts A & B) benefits. This is a relatively new benefit that is available to everyone that has Medicare A & B. There are few stipulations and guidelines for using this benefit that you should be familiar with which we’ve outlined below.

First and foremost, this benefit expires after you have been on Medicare Part B for 12 months. So in order to use the benefit, you have to schedule (and go to) your “welcome to Medicare” physical within 12 months of going on Part B. The physical is designed to be a review of your current health and provide you with education and counseling about preventive services that you need, such as screenings, didactic assessment, shots and referrals for other care (from specialists).

You can do this “Welcome to Medicare” physical at your regular primary care doctor, assuming he or she takes Medicare coverage.

So, what should you expect during the “Welcome to Medicare” exam? During the exam, your doctor will take some of the basic health-related measurements, such as blood pressure, height, weight, vision and BMI. The doctor will check medical records to confirm that you are up to date with any recommended screenings such as cancer screenings, etc. As an offshoot of this physical, the doctor may order additional tests, screenings or preventive procedures.

Your doctor, as part of this physical, should also give you a written plan for your health. This http://www.healthfulsecretsrevealed.com will inform you of other screenings that the doctor recommendations or future action plans for maintaining and/or improving your health. According to Medicare, your doctor will also talk to you about “advance directives”, including end-of-life planning. Advance directives are legal documents that tell your family or loved ones what your wishes are if you are unable to make your own decisions, due to health.

The “Welcome to Medicare” physical is covered by Medicare at 80%. You are responsible for the other 20%, unless of course, you have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) that will pay for that other 20%. The plans that will do this include Plan G and Plan F.

To get more information about this or about Medicare Supplement plans, please visit our website or call us at 877.506.3378. You can also get a summary of this information on Medicare’s website at: What is the Welcome to Medicare Physical.

Going on Medicare – What You Need to Do

Going on Medicare, or turning 65, is one of the largest insurance-related transitions one can have in their life. There is a lot to consider and certainly a lot of information out there about Medicare insurance plans. If you’re like most people, you’ll be inundated with paperwork and solicitations leading up to your 65th birthday – everyone wants to be your friend when you are turning 65!

Here are the five most important things to know when you turning 65 that will make that transition an easy one:

  1. First of all, in most cases, you’ll be enrolled automatically in Medicare A & B. Typically, Medicare sends you a red, white, and blue Medicare card 2-3 months before your 65th birthday. Medicare is always active on the first day of the month you turn 65 (unless your birthday is the 1st day of a month, in which case Medicare starts the 1st day of the preceding month).
  2. Medicare A & B provide good coverage, but there are some “gaps” in Medicare, which is why the majority of people have some other type of coverage – i.e. Medicare Supplements or Medicare Advantage. The “gaps” in Medicare are a couple of Medicare deductibles (Part A deductible = $1,132 and Part B deductible = $162), as well as an unlimited 20% that you are responsible for if you have only Medicare.
  3. There are two types of Medicare insurance plans and they work very differently. It is important to understand the differences. Medicare Supplement plans work with Medicare and pay AFTER Medicare pays. Medicare Advantage plans replace Medicare and pay INSTEAD of Medicare. Coverage varies greatly with these plans.
  4. Medicare Supplement plans are standardized – that is, each company is required to offer the same standard plans, so comparing them is easy to do and is a function of price and company rating. Medicare Advantage plans have a system of co-pays and deductibles that can vary considerably from one company to another. These plans are more difficult to compare because of this, as well as the added factor of having networks (Medicare Supplement plans can be used at anywhere nationwide).
  5. No matter who it is, it is to your advantage (and at no cost to you) to use a Medicare insurance broker, who can explain both types of plans and help you compare the options in an unbiased, centralized place.

To get more information about turning 65 or going on Medicare, you can view Medicare Supplement Insurance. To get quotes and comparisons for Medicare plans in your area, go to Medicare-Supplement.US.