Understanding Medicare Supplement Insurance

If you are of qualifying age to receive Medicare benefits, they may not be enough to cover all of your medical related expenses. But there is an option that you can add on called Medicare supplement insurance.

Medicare supplement insurance is not offered by the federal government but is sold by third-party companies to help you cover costs of medical care that might not be covered entirely by Medicare, according to Medicare.

Before you go with just any Medicare supplement insurance plan, there are a few things that you should know about that can help you when shopping and comparing providers, plans and premiums.
  • Medicare HMO Plans: These require that you see your primary care physician to receive care. Any specialists or hospitals that you visit need to be in your primary network.

  • Medicare PPO Plans: These allow for you to see the physician or specialist of your choosing, but you will get special discounts if you choose to see in-network providers.
  • Medicare PFFS Plans: Allow you to see any listed provider that is in the network and that accepts the terms of the payment plan.
  • When searching for Medigap and Medicare Advantage insurance plans, make sure you consider these following notes:

    • Plans can and do vary between regions, including states and even cities.

  • Not all companies offer similar plans. So carefully compare before you decide.
  • Most plans offer open enrollment annually, allowing you to only change your plan once per year on a specified date.
  • There are a number of insurance companies that offer Medicare supplement insurance.

    To name a few, they include:
    • Humana

  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Coventry
  • United Healthcare
  • Medicare makes it easy for you to find an insurance company in your region that offers this insurance. Just use their
    tool to easily locate one.

    It can be confusing trying to determine which supplemental plan that you should opt to use for added medical coverage. According to CNN, there are 12 different policies that you can choose from, each with its own set of pros and cons. What's more, CNN says that, "There is no difference in plans offered by different insurers; plan details are all set by the government."

    As with any insurance, make sure you understand the policy that you are agreeing to and what it covers before purchasing it so that there are no unwanted surprises after the fact.

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