Medicare Supplemental and Medicare Plan C are not the same, although they are closely related to each other. Medicare Supplemental polices are health insurance that pays for costs of medical care that Medicare does not provide coverage for. Plan C is one of those Medicare Supplemental policies that are available.
Plan C is the Senior Advantage health insurance plans. These plans provide comprehensive medical coverage, filling in the gaps in Medicare. With your Plan C coverage, you will then have medical insurance similar to health care coverage provided to persons not eligible for Medicare. Plan C also includes drug coverage.
Other supplemental policies available are the Medigap line of policies. There are some changes to these policies for 2011. First, if you use a Medigap policy, you need to purchase your drug coverage separately. You would need to purchase a Plan D health insurance policy. An older policy may continue to furnish you this coverage. Some Medigap policies are no longer being offered due to law changes.
Your Medigap polices are titled with letters of the alphabet. Your choices are A, B, C, D, F, K, L, M and N. The most comprehensive policy and the one most often bought is Plan F. The other options are available for people with limited ability to pay and for those who have some coverage and don’t need a comprehensive policy. Medicare sends you a yearly guide on the changes to Medicare. This guide includes a list policies you can buy, along with their rating by users. READ IT!
What does Medicare not cover? To begin with, you have to pay a copay for all of your services. Some of these copays are one time payments such as the $1100 copay due when you stay in the hospital. Some of these are per visit or test. Most of the benefits also last up to 90 days per year. Some fees are daily copays imposed after a certain number of days under care. As you can see, these copays can mount up pretty fast if you get sick.
Medicare does not offer drug coverage unless your purchase Plan D coverage or a Plan C policy. Most drugs are very expensive. Other treatments not covered by Medicare include home care, rehabilitation services for the most part, more than one physical exam a year, and treatments such as ultrasound or dialysis performed on an outpatient basis. Medicare also provides very limited coverage for any medical care necessary while traveling out of the country.
Buying a Medicare Supplemental health policy just makes good economic sense for most people. Most likely, you are one of those people unless you are independently wealthy.