How Medicare Supplement Plans Work?

Original Medicare whether Part A or Part B, pays for many health-care costs, but do not pay for all health-care costs. This is the reason you need to get Medicare Supplement Plans to cover uncovered health care costs. These Medigap plans will help you pay some of the hospital bills and medical costs such as copayments, coinsurance and yearly deductibles that your Original Medicare does not cover.

Here is an overview of Medigap policies work with other insurance plans-

Medigap policies actually supplement Original Medicare benefits. You need to enroll in Original Medicare to be eligible to get Medigap coverage. Furthermore, you need to stay enrolled in Original Medicare for your hospital and medical coverage.

It is worth saying here that Medicare supplement plans do not provide any kind of stand-alone benefits. It is possible that based on the state you live in, you may not be able to get Medicare Supplement coverage in case you are under 65, and have Medicare because of disability, end stage renal disease or any amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

In United States, states are not supposed to provide Medigap coverage to beneficiaries under 65. If you are under 65, and have Original Medicare, you should check with state’s insurance department to learn if you are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan.

You should keep in mind that Medigap plans do not include any prescription drug coverage (Part D). So, if you need help with your medication costs, you need to enroll in stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan. Furthermore, you cannot use Medicare Supplement plan to pay health-care costs that you have with a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medigap insurance can only be used to cover costs in Original Medicare. In case you have Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement plan, then Original Medicare will pay the health-care cost first, and your Medigap Policy will fill in the cost gaps. For instance, you got $3,000 ambulance bill, and you have already got your yearly Medicare Part B deductible. Medicare part B will pay 80% of your ambulance bill. Now, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan that covers Part B copayments and coinsurance costs, then your Medigap policy would pay remaining 20% coinsurance of your $3,000 ambulance bill.

So, it is important to have Medicare Supplement plans along with Original Medicare policies to get a complete.

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Basics of Medicare Advantage Plans, a must know

People get the coverage for their health from the Original Medicare, while some enjoy the Medicare Advantage plans benefits and this is also referred to as Part C or Medicare private health plan. The plans offer Medicare benefits.


The common types of MA Plans are:


Remember, one thing is certain that even on getting enrolled with Medicare Advantage plans, you have Medicare. This means you pay for Part B and A monthly premium in case you have it. In case you are enrolled in an MA Plan, you get to enjoy the same benefits offered by the Original Medicare. Bear in mind the Medicare Advantage plans may apply different rules, restrictions and costs that may affect as you receive care. They may provide certain benefits that Medicare fails to cover, such as vision and dental care.


The Medicare Advantage Plans include out of pocket costs limit for the services of Part A and B. For instance, the out of pocket expenses as maximum in 2018 for HMO plans is $6700. These are high. Apart from this, the plans cannot charge coinsurances or higher copayments that the Original Medicare for services such as dialysis and chemotherapy, but they car charge more for other services.

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Note: MA Plans may have diverse:

  • Providers of Networks
  • Rules of coverage
  • Premiums besides part b premium
  • Covered services cost sharing.


In fact the truth is that even with same plan types provided from different companies come with different rules. Thus, before choosing one, check directly about the plan and its coverage.


Joining Medicare Advantage plans is possible if:

  • You own Part A and B Medicare
  • You live in the service area that offers this plan
  • You do not have crucial health problems such as renal disease end-stage


Many Medicare Advantage Plans give Part D, the prescription drug coverage. If you join without drug coverage, the Medicare Advantage plans, you can enroll in Part D as stand-alone plan. Remember Original Medicare with Part D coverage also enrolls Part D plan as a stand-alone.


Another important point is if you are covered by your employer or union on becoming Medicare eligible, you get enrolled automatically in sponsored Medicare Advantage plans, however, you may choose the plan, enroll in new MA plan, quit from Original Medicare as well, but remember if you change to another plan, your union or employer may reduce the health and other company benefits.

How to shop for a Medicare advantage plan 2019 online

To start with, Medicare advantage plans includes the following; Medicare medical savings account plans, health maintenance organizations, special needs plan, and private fee for service plans. It is up to you to decide what insurance you are willing to apply for. Most of these plans offers prescription drug coverage. If you are benefiting from Medicare services, you will notice that most of them are not paid for under the original Medicare.

Shopping for 2018 Medicare advantage online is a simple thing to do, all you need is to know what you really want. The steps are simple and clear, visit the website of the Medicare advantage plan of your choice and see whether they have given out the option of applying or joining online. You can even call them if you need clarification or more information.

You will have to call and ask them to provide you with an enrollment form that will require to be filled and returned. Make sure that you search using the plan name to avoid contacting the wrong Medicare plan.

After you successfully join the Medicare advantage plan, you must provide your Medicare number and also the date that your part A or B coverage started, you will find this kind of information from the Medicare card that you will be given.

It is important to know about Medicare fraud; it is advisable not to give any personal information to plan callers. No one should call you claiming to be servicing Medicare advantage plans because in the first place they are not supposed to call you, unless you have specifically requested them to call. They are also not supposed to ask you to give any financial information such as bank accounts or credit cards over the phone.

Buying of Medicare advantage plan is done only if you ask for it and not buy it from an agent who is selling door to door, this is unlawful. Do not be left behind this time and enroll for the Medicare advantage plans 2019. You can also renew if it just expired.

Another important thing to note is that not all Medicare advantage plans provide similar services, do some digging and understand the rules, costs and do the comparison between all the options that you have. You can actually use Medicare plan finder to look for one that suits your needs.

Best Medicare Supplement Plans

The best Medicare supplement plans for 2019 have been evaluated and determined by healthcare experts based on the customer reviews, expert feedback and cost analysis of each supplement plan. If you take a look at each Medicare plan in totality of the previous years, it is hard to choose a plan that is perfect or flawless on its own. The best Medigap for 2019 should not be unrealistically expected to have unreal or flawless features. In fact, it should be treated as being something very average and normal that is only available to cater to healthcare needs of people.

What Do Medicare Plans Offer?

As we all know, Medicare supplement plans also known as the Medigap supplement programs are designed to cover the medical costs that are not originally covered by the state insurance plans. Hence, it is clear to see that the intention of these plans is to provide temporary relief to individuals.

Best Medicare Supplement Plans for 2019

When you set out to choose a Medicare supplement plan for yourself or any of your near and dear one – you have to remember that not all insurance plans are designed to offer the same services. Each plan is designed to cater to varying medical and healthcare needs. We have picked out the best supplement plans based on our personal experience and analysis.

No. 1 – AARP by United Healthcare Review

The AARP is an American based healthcare service institution that is dealing in serving the elderly citizens of the society. This association takes pride in serving more than 130+ million members with superlative healthcare and medical services. The biggest reason for this company to sit on the top slots of the best supplement plans for the past and upcoming years is because of the transparency and honesty it offers to the customers. The supplement plan is 100% customizable and can be modified as per the individual preferences and needs. Moreover, this supplement healthcare plan is designed to cater to varying needs of the people by offering thorough help at all times of day and night. The biggest highlight of this Medicare supplement plan is that it has more than 10+ healthcare plans ready for you to avail. You can choose one that suits your preferences best.

No. 2 – Mutual of Omaha

Another top rated Medicare healthcare program sponsored by the United States firm Nebraska Fortune 500 health insurance is the mutual of Omaha plan. This plan has been rated with full stars by the people because of its financial stability and clear cost listings. Moreover, there is a wide range of healthcare services that is being covered by the Mutual of Omaha Medicare plans. The subscribed member will hardly have to face any restriction when it comes to the service healthcare plan. It caters to individuals who are above 50+ years of age and are retired from current job. You can look up a local office in a nearby location to associate with to avail healthcare services.

Cost of Medicare Supplement Plans

“Premium” is a major factor that determines the price of Medicare Supplement Plans. If you are running on a budget, you must choose supplemental plans based on the amount you can pay every month. The premium depends on your Medigap plan. Also, it depends on the insurance service provider.

Every state offers 10 types of supplemental plans. The features and benefits of these plans are standardized. This means all states (except Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Minnesota) offer the same benefits and features.

Always bear in mind that insurance service providers decide on the monthly premiums. This is why your premiums can differ between insurance companies.

For example, Medigap Supplement Plan A from one company can cost more than the policy from another company in a different state. Yet, both the service providers will offer similar benefits and features.

How are Supplement Plans Priced?

As mentioned previously, premiums differ because of the insurance service provider. The healthcare insurance company decides on the premium for each Medigap plan. Most companies decide price based on the following factors:

  • Attained age rated plans depend on the beneficiaries’ If you are a young buyer, the plans will be inexpensive. As you age, the premiums are likely to increase. Premiums of Attained-age-rated plans increase with inflation.
  • Issue age rated policies are also known as “Entry Age Rated”. These plans depend on the insurer’s age during purchase. Insurers of the same age will be asked to pay the same premium. Issue age rated policies are cheap for younger buyers. Premiums of issue age rated policies increase only with inflation.
  • Community-rated policies are also known as “No Age Rated”. As suggested by its name, the policy doesn’t depend on your age. Premiums of community-rated policies increase with inflation and other factors (except age).

Other Factors

Another important factor that influences premiums is “Time”. The ideal time to buy Medigap plans in 2019 is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period begins after you are 65. If you have guaranteed issue rights, the Medigap Open Enrollment Period lasts for 6 months. During this time, insurance companies cannot deny you a supplemental plan.

Most insurance service providers have rewards and discounts for:

  • Couples with two different policies
  • Non-smokers
  • People who use NEFT to pay bills
  • People who make annual payments

Question the Insurance Company!

If you wish to bag a great healthcare insurance plan at a low price, you must question as many companies as possible. Compare at least three different service providers.

Part C Medicare Advantage Plans – Some facts

Part C and Medicare Advantage Plans are considered to be the same. For enrolling in Part C Medicare, the person is required to first get enrolled with Part A & B of Medicare. The guidelines and restrictions that determine for Part A & B eligibility tends to apply for those enrolling with Part C. Even though it is Medicare provided plan, it gets furnished through an independent provider. It is through Medicare fund that Part A & B is paid and is funded through budget appropriations and Social Security Tax. Part C is found not to be separate from that of Medicare. But the plan does allow freedom of choice with regards to who will be managing the insurance and the benefits to receive.  For more information go to

What coverage is offered by Part C?

Part C plans or Medicare Advantage Plans is likely to differ slightly which depends upon the provider offering coverage. But majority of the providers are known to offer plans that cover nursing homes, hospital stays, medical home visits, etc. Similar benefits enjoyed under Part A & B of Medicare are provided by insurance companies specializing in such private healthcare plans. Every insurance provider has own set of regulations, rules, restrictions and premiums. This might prove to be a disadvantage for few, since the charges are much higher when compared to standard Medicare. Again, reflecting Medicare Advantage, serious improvement over standard Medicare rates of the individual.

Types of Part C plans available

Most insurance providers over privately held Medicare Part A & B variations are known to cover variety of requirements, except for hospice care that Original Medicare covers, even if Advantage or Part C plan is preferred for coverage. The plan selected will depend fully on the hospitals and doctors to visit, be those providers within the specific plan’s network as well as the rate eager to pay for availing the coverage. HMO and PPO plans, doctors within the plan’s network are to be selected, or else the cost to visit the out of network doctors will increase.

Why get enrolled in Part C Medicare?

Those eager to buy insurance plan from any private company and still enjoy similar Original Medicare benefits can get Part C plans. Medicare Advantage Plans also offers those benefits not provided by Original Medicare like coverage for hearing, vision wellness and dental programs. Rather than paying individually for each service, it can be rolled into the plan.