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Medicare Supplement Plans – Why Are They Important

Medicare Supplement Insurance is a form of private health insurance that helps cover certain Medicare out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Over 14.5 million Americans had a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in 2019. Prescription drugs can be expensive, and Medicare Parts A and B (“Original Medicare”) may not provide the coverage you need. Pairing a Part D Plan with a Medicare Supplement plan can help protect you from unexpected medical and prescription drug costs now or in the future.

When you buy a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, you are still enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B. Medicare pays for your health-care bills primarily, while the Medigap plan simply covers certain cost-sharing expenses required by Medicare, such as copayments or deductibles. In addition, Medigap insurance plans may help with other costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as Medicare Part B excess charges or emergency medical coverage when you’re traveling outside of the country. Keep in mind that Medicare Supplement insurance plans can only be used to pay for Original Medicare costs; they can’t be used with Medicare Advantage plans.

While Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers many healthcare expenses, it doesn’t cover everything. Even with covered healthcare services, beneficiaries are still responsible for many copayments and deductibles, which can easily add up. In addition, Medicare Part A and Part B also don’t cover certain benefits, such as routine vision and dental, prescription drugs, or overseas emergency health coverage. If all you have is Original Medicare, you’ll need to pay for these costs out-of-pocket.

As a result, many people with Medicare enroll in two types of plans to cover these gaps in coverage. There are two options commonly used to replace or supplement Original Medicare. One option, called Medicare Advantage plans, is an alternative way to get Original Medicare.  The other option, Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) insurance plans work alongside your Original Medicare coverage. These plans have significant differences when it comes to costs, benefits, and how they work. It’s important to understand these differences as you review your Medicare coverage options.

A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy is health insurance that can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles.

Medicare Part A does not cover all of a senior citizen’s healthcare expenses. For example, it provides no coverage for dental care or dentures, vision care, hearing care, or hearing aids. Medicare also does not pay for routine foot care or long-term care. Prescription drugs, for the most part, are not covered by original Medicare. Those fall under Medicare Part D, which has to be purchased separately as a type of supplemental insurance. This means that a senior citizen who needs prescription medications, dental care, vision care, or hearing aids would benefit from a supplemental insurance plan.

For more options contact Bethany Montgomery at 936-220-2133 or complete our information form.  Bethany services Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois and Louisiana.

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