Complementary Medicare Plans (Medigap Plans)
Medicare supplements are sometimes called Medigap plans because they were designed to supplement the original Medicare program and “fill in the gaps,” paying for deductibles and co-insurance for Medicare-covered services.
There are ten standard plan designs, and they are named by letters in the alphabet (for example, Plan G, Plan N, Plan A). Although many insurance companies offer health insurance supplements, the benefits must be the same for each plan design.
The health insurance supplements have a monthly premium, the cost of which varies according to the type of plan and the insurance company. Coverage of the supplement is secondary to Medicare. When an older person uses health services, the bill goes directly to Medicare. Medicare will pay your share and then send the claim to the insurance company to pay the appropriate amount of deductible and co-insurance. In general, the supplement only covers Medicare-approved services.
These plans do not cover prescription drugs, and many people combine a separate prescription drug plan (PDP) with their Medicare supplement to help cover the costs of their prescription drugs.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Enroll in a 2019 Medicare Supplement plan (MA) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) systems work differently than Medicare supplements. While all plans include coverage for Medicare services, these plans typically include cost-sharing features of deductibles and co-payments. Retirees who choose to apply for a Master’s degree or MAPD must register in Part A and Part B. These types of plans often have a monthly fee that may vary in price, depending on the type of plan and insurance company. Premiums for Medicare Advantage plans tend to be lower than Medicare supplements.
They can be classified into two different types: HMO and PPO. In an HMO plan, you can only contact health care providers or network hospitals in the case of an emergency. In a PPO plan, you can receive care from health care providers inside and outside the plan network provided they are under contract with Medicare. However, you won’t pay much if you use providers within the network. In many cases, Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription drug coverage, hence the reason they are known as Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approve the benefits and rates of the plan each year.