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Do I Need A Medicare Supplement Plan With Original Medicare?

If you have health concerns and want assistance paying for the 20% left over after Medicare pays its share, you should add a Medicare Supplement plan with your Original Medicare. There are several options to choose from, extending from basic to comprehensive coverage for expenses from Medicare Part A and Part B. If the premiums are too high for your monthly budget, consider switching to a Medicare Advantage plan instead.

Why Add a Medicare Supplement?

Medicare Part A and Part B come with a number of out-of-pocket costs. If you have health concerns, you could be left paying thousands with no end in sight. Original Medicare does not have an out-of-pocket maximum.

The Medicare Part A deductible is $1,484 for each benefit period. A benefit period extends from the time you are admitted as an inpatient until you have not received inpatient care for 60 days. Theoretically, you could have to pay multiple Part A deductibles in a single year.

Then, there’s the Part A coinsurance. For care as a hospital inpatient, you owe a daily coinsurance of $371 for days 61 through 90, followed by a daily coinsurance of $742 after day 90 until you have used up your 60 lifetime reserve days. After that, you owe all costs. Costs for mental health inpatient stays are the same as for hospital inpatient stays. As an inpatient in a skilled nursing facility, you owe a daily coinsurance of $185.50 for days 21 through 100 and after day 100 you owe all costs.

Part B copays are 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services.

Medicare Supplements can help cover the costs of the out-of-pocket expenses from Part A and Part B, including copays, coinsurance, and the Part A deductible.

When you add a Medicare Supplement, you still need to pay your monthly premiums for Medicare Part A and Part B.

What Are Medicare Supplements?

Medicare Supplements are an additional plan you can purchase from a Medicare-approved private health insurance company to help cover the costs of your expenses from Medicare Part A and Part B (your hospital and medical insurance). 

There are ten choices of Medicare Supplements. Lettered A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N, each varies in the amount of coverage for your expenses and the price of their monthly premiums. Two of these plans, C and F, are only available to people who became eligible for Medicare before 2020 because they cover the Part B deductible.

The best time to add a Medicare Supplement is during your Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Open Enrollment period. This begins during the six months after you are enrolled in Part B and are age 65. If you sign up during this time, you are not subject to medical underwriting. This means that an insurance company cannot deny you the purchase of a Medicare Supplement plan because of pre-existing or current medical conditions. You may not be able to purchase a Medicare Supplement after this time period, because you are only granted these Guaranteed Issue rights after special circumstances.

Choosing a Medicare Supplement in Idaho

With so many Medicare Supplements to choose from, it can be difficult to tell if you are making the right choice for your situation. If you are thinking of adding a Medicare Supplement with your Original Medicare and want some guidance, consult the experts at Generations Insurance.