If you have made the decision that you want to go with a Supplemental Plan to help cover the gaps in Medicare rather than an Advantage Plan, how do you narrow down your choices to get the plan that best fits your needs? Here is some information that might help.
There are ten basic supplemental plans you can choose from lettered A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. The ones that are going to give you the most coverage are F, G and C. To get an F or C plan, you must have been eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020. Plan G has the same benefits as the F plan, except that you have to pay the Part B annual deductible of $203. Plan G also has the same benefits as the C plan, except you must pay for Part B excess charges (up to 15% more for doctors who are not on assignment with Medicare’s fee schedule). All the supplemental plans are standardized, which means they have all the same basic medical benefits regardless of carrier. Some F and G plans have extra benefits added, like vision and hearing, and some F and G plans have a high deductible version of the plan. What differs among these plans is the premium. Each company charges a different rate for each plan. Price is determined by the age you will be on the plan’s effective date and the location where you live.
Another factor that influences cost is the type of plan you choose. The plans with the most benefits are going to cost more than a plan with fewer benefits. The F plan will be the most expensive with the most benefits, followed by the G and C plans, then D, A and B. Lower cost plans like K and L have an out-of-pocket limit which you must meet before the plan pays 100% of costs. Plan M pays only 50% of the Part A deductible, and the N plan has copayments for office and emergency room visits. Some companies give first-year introductory discounts of up to $30 off your monthly premium, as well as household discounts of up to 5 to 7% for members of a family who have the same plan.
If you decide you can live without some of the benefits and pay out-of-pocket costs yourself, you may save on up-front premium costs if you decide to go with a lower-level supplemental plan. All the plans are going to give you one of the most coveted benefits of all, however, which is the freedom to go to any doctor that takes Medicare with no referrals to see specialists, anywhere in the United States. Most people choose a supplemental plan for that one reason, because they don’t have to worry about networks and referrals when selecting a provider for their healthcare.