Medicare Insurance is designed as a safety net for those 65 and older, under 65 with specific disabilities, and anyone with End-Stage Renal Disease. Broken into four parts, each section covers different aspects of medical care, from urgent care to home or hospice care to a prescription drug plan.
Medicare Part A, for example, covers hospital says, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and in-home health care. It is usually paid for by Medicare taxes that were paid while employed, and, in most cases, won’t cost beneficiaries. This differs from Part B, which covers most doctor services, outpatient therapies, physical therapy, preventive care, and durable medical equipment.
However, the cost of the Part B premium is usually deducted from your Social Security and how much depends on the income a person made two years prior. So if you increased your income this year, that would be reflected on your premiums two years from now. Part B covers 80 percent of the cost of procedures or services (after a deductible), leaving a 20 percent patient responsibility.
Unfortunately, for more severe surgeries or illnesses, that 20 percent can still cost tens of thousands of dollars. To help make up this difference, there are Medicare Supplement insurance plans that can be purchased. Also known as Medigap Insurance, these standardized plans help cover some deductibles, co-pays, and other costs not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
NOTE: Medigap standardized plans are handled differently in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. If you plan on moving to one of these states in the next year, please consult with a Medicare insurance agent to fully understand these differences.
What Medigap Plans are Available in 2020?
Medicare Supplement plan options can change year to year, so it’s important to know if your coverage has changed heading into the new year. Please Note: if you are eligible for Medicare for the first time in 2020, Medigap plans will NOT cover Part B deductibles. That means Plans C and F will be unavailable to people new to Medicare.
Here is a quick rundown of what different Medigap Plans have to offer in 2020 (From the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner):
10 Standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans chart
This chart shows the benefits included in each of the standard Medigap plans effective on or after January 1, 2020. The Medigap policy covers coinsurance only after you’ve paid the Medicare deductible (unless the policy you have also covers the deductible).
Note about Plans C and F:
Only applicants’ first eligible for Medicare before 2020 can buy/keep Plans C, F, and high-deductible Plan F. Medigap Plans C and F are no longer available to people new to Medicare as of January 1, 2020. If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but not yet enrolled, you might still be able to buy a Plan C, F, or high-deductible Plan F.
*Plans F and G offer a high-deductible plan. You pay for Medicare-covered costs up to the deductible amount ($2,340 in 2020) before your plan pays anything.
**After you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and Part B deductible, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
***Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance except up to $20 copays for some office visits and up to $50 copays for emergency room visits (if the hospital admits you, the plan waives your emergency room copays).
What is not covered by a Medigap plan?
Medicare Supplement Plans are in place to make up the deductible costs of Original Medicare and co-pays and coinsurance. All Medigap plans are standardized, which means no matter who you buy from, it will be the same plan. If you are eligible for Medicare for the first time in 2020, remember that Medigap plans will not cover Medicare Part B deductibles.
However, if you had Medicare before January 1, 2020, you will still be able to keep your plan.
Standardized Medigap plans will only cover what Original Medicare Part A and B cover. However, some plans will allow you to add more coverage if needed for vision, dental, hearing, and some therapies. If you plan to buy Medicare Supplement coverage and are interested in additional innovative benefits, make sure you first talk to an experienced insurance agent.
Medicare Agents You Can Trust
VibrantUSA has been specializing in Medicare insurance and Medigap plans since 2003. We familiarize ourselves with different Medigap plans every year and how they can help our clients. We offer plans from more than 30 different carriers offering more than 50 options, allowing VibrantUSA to find you the best plan for the best price.
That’s one of the advantages of using an independent agency for your Medicare insurance needs. We are not beholden to just one or two carriers, so we can spend our time looking for the best ways to help our clients. If you have questions about any part of your Medicare coverage or are new to Medicare, contact VibrantUSA today.