A Medicare Supplement plan, to define it simply, is a plan that provides coverages that are in addition to – in other words, supplements – coverage provided by Original Medicare. To understand Medicare Supplement plans better, it is worthwhile to understand some terminology used for Original Medicare.
Original Medicare is a health plan that has two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A covers expenses related to hospital stay, skilled nursing care beyond custodial care, hospice and home healthcare. The premium for Part A ranges from nil to a value that is decided based on conditions like Medicare taxes paid for a specified duration. Part B covers expenses such as doctors’ fees, laboratory tests and surgeries that do not require hospitalization; in addition, Part B covers expenses for preventive services like health check-ups and vaccinations.
The Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) is a kind of health plan that offers the benefits of Part A and Part B and some additional benefits. Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) provides coverage for prescription drugs. No Cigna Medicare Supplement covers prescriptions.
Both Part A and Part B plans are subject to:
- Copayments: a fixed payment, within a yearly limit, made by the patient for each service – for example, a visit to the doctor
- Deductibles: a yearly limit of expenses that the patient has to bear before the insurance plan starts paying medical expenses
- Coinsurance: a plan in which a fixed percentage of the total expenses are paid by the patient and the rest by the insurer
Medicare Supplement plans (also called Medigap plans) cover expenses that are not covered by Original Medicare. These expenses are copayments, deductibles and coinsurance, among other services like medical care when the patient travels out of the country.
A Medicare Supplement plan is different from the Medicare Advantage Plan in that the former has to be taken in addition to Part A and B, whereas the latter can be taken as a substitute for Part A and B. A Medicare Supplement plan can be taken irrespective of whether Part D is taken or not.A Medicare Supplement plan covers only one person, so individual plans need to be purchased for individuals in a family.
A Medicare Supplement plan has a monthly premium and is in addition to the premiums paid for other Parts like A and/or B. This plan is sold only by private companies that are licensed to sell it in any state.
What are the aspects of this plan that you do not understand? Gone are the days when we are limited to offline information. With the internet, you are going to get every answer you want within a short time. This is the reason why people can easily get a plan within a day or two.