A person with a Medicare supplement may wonder if he can use his Medicare supplement plan with an out of network provider. If he has a Medicare Select plan, the answer is no. The answer is also typically no if he has a Medicare Advantage plan, although if he has a Medigap policy odds are he can easily use providers that are normally out of his network. Medigap policies are not typically sold within a network for most purposes. A recipient should double check with his Medicare plan provider if he is in doubt about using an out of network provider.
Select Plans were Medicare supplement policies sold before 1998. They were supposed to save the recipient money if he did not intend to travel outside of the area. These plans worked with a network of providers and a given insurance companies. The point was to set up Medicare Supplement plans as close as possible to the typical insurance plans many other people had at the time, and still do. A few select plans still run around, but a person can no longer purchase a policy of this type.
If a person goes out of his network, it is usually not a huge problem. There may be some additional paperwork hurdles for a person to go through, but he will get the coverage that he pays for, more or less. Insurance companies normally try to keep their bottom line as low as possible. A patient can expect to pay his deductible and any co-pays for emergencies services. If the service needed is not an emergency, it is probably to wait until a person can get into one of his network providers, provided there is a service network.