How do you choose a Medicare supplement plan?


Quick Answer

Retirees choose Medicare supplement plans by reviewing the features and benefits available for Medigap policies on the official Medicare website and then conducting a Medigap policy search using the tool available on the site, according to Medicare.gov. Insurance companies can only sell standardized Medigap plans.

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Full Answer

Some Medigap plans cover only the coinsurance after the Medicare deductible is met, while others cover the deductible and coinsurance, notes Medicare.gov. The deductible is the amount out-of-pocket a Medicare beneficiary must pay before Medicare makes any payments. Coinsurance is the percentage of the medical bills that the Medicare recipient must pay once the deductible is met.

Covered items under Medigap plans include: coinsurance and hospital costs, copayments, blood (up to 3 pints), hospice care, skilled nursing facilities, deductibles for Medicare Part A and Part B, Part B excess charges, foreign travel and out-of-pocket limits, as indicated on Medicare.gov. Seniors shopping for Medigap can view which of these benefits are covered under each of the Medigap plans. There are 10 Medigap plans, and each has a letter designation to identify it. Medicare beneficiaries can search the site for insurance companies in their area that offer the Medigap plan that interests them. Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Minnesota have different Medigap standardizations.

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