Having adequate insurance coverage is important to ensuring that proper medical care is received for an illness or injury. A clear understanding of the basic benefits in a Medicare Supplement Plan helps in selecting the right plan for individual health needs. Medicare does not cover all those expenses, therefore requiring people to purchase supplemental insurance. Commonly known as Medigap, these insurance plans literally fill the gaps in Medicare coverage.
The basic benefits in a Medicare Supplement Plan are standardized with all private insurance companies. Plans are called Part A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Benefits include:
• Up to an additional 365 days for hospitalization in Medicare Part A after Medicare benefits are used
• Covers co-payments for Medicare Part B
• First three pints of blood per year
• Co-payment for hospice care under Medicare Part A
• Coinsurance for a skilled nursing care facility
• Deductibles for Medicare Parts A and B
• Excess charges not covered by Medicare Part B
• Coinsurance for Medicare Part B preventive care
• Emergency care for foreign travel, up to individual plan limits
Medigap will cover 100 percent of all covered services for a remaining calendar year once the yearly limit of out-of-pocket expenses and the Medicare Part B deductible are paid.
The recent changes to the basic benefits in a Medicare Supplement Plan will require individuals to review their current policies, and possibly change plans during the open enrollment period. After June 1, 2010, Plan K will cover 50 percent of the co-payments for Medicare Part B and hospice care, nursing facility care, first three pints of blood, and the Medicare Part A deductible. Plan L will cover 75 percent of the same costs.