Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why Medicare Supplement Plan N Might Be Right For Your Needs

By B. Loughead

As of June 1st, 2010 the landscape of the Medicare Supplement market changed significantly with the advent of Medicare Plan N (and M). At that time, the US Government required all companies who were marketing and selling Medicare Supplement plans to abide by the newly modernized and upgraded Medigap chart. Supplement Plans M and N were a part of this modernization process and promised to be better choices for both existing and new Medicare beneficiaries. Now the only question was, are these plans right for you?"

What Medicare Supplement Plan N Covers

Although it is similar to Medicare Plans D and F, Medicare Plan N utilizes a system for sharing costs in order to keep a person's premiums down. Unlike Plans D and F, it will cover all or a portion of the deductibles incurred in Medicare Parts A and B. A new co-pay structure was implemented in exchange for insurance premiums that could be up to 30% lower than what they were. Under Plan N, doctor visit co-pays are $20 and emergency room visit co-pays are $50.
In addition to the change in the co-pay structure, if a hospital admission is required because of the visit to the ER, the $50 co-pay will be waived. In addition to the above, Medicare supplement Plan N provides 100% coverage for deductibles under Part A but no coverage for Part B deductibles.

The Medicare basic core benefits are not covered under Plan N including:

• all expenses after Medicare benefits run out for in-patient hospital care
• coverage for in-patient hospitalization charges under Part A
• emergency benefits when traveling internationally
• initial 3 pints of blood
• Part A co-insurance for palliative medication in hospice care
• Part B co-insurance expenses

It is estimated that the premiums incurred under Medicare Plan N will cost about 77% of Plan D and 70% of Plan F premiums. For individuals with budget concerns, Plan N will most likely be better than any of the Medicare Part C Advantage plans.

Additional Considerations

Many individuals claim that Medicare supplement Plan N was the better option for them because the out-of-pocket expenses are considerably lower and there are no restrictions where networks are concerned. Additionally, not every healthcare insurance provider offers Plan N so you will need to search for those companies who do offer it should you want this coverage. Be sure that you spend time researching to this before committing to any insurance provider.

Summit Medigap is an independent insurance agency that specializes in Medicare supplement insurance. We make Medicare seem easy™. For more information about Medicare supplement insurance or to compare medicare plans visit or call us at 1-888-40-Summit (888-407-8664). We have helped many clients in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Colorado and Texas to name a few.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Difference Between Medicare Advantage And Medicare Supplement Insurance

By B. Loughead
Medicare is the US Government's federally administered nationwide social insurance that was established in 1965. Americans who are 65 years of age or older are guaranteed access to health care through this program. However, younger individuals with disabilities or who are in the end stage of renal disease are covered by Medicare. Medicare benefits are broken down into four categories as follows:

• Part A - hospital insurance                                   
• Part B - medical insurance
• Part C - Medicare Advantage plans
• Part D - prescription drug plans

Part A covers any hospitalization that is required while Part B covers visits to the doctor as well as any medical equipment that the patient may need. Consequently, there are gaps in these coverages which can be covered by either a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan.
Private companies offer Plans that work with Medicare and oftentimes include prescription coverage. They can be HMO's, PPO's, or private services but they will not negatively impact you despite receiving Medicare benefits. Secondary health insurance policies related to Medicare coverage are known as Medicare Supplements. They are also referred to as "Medigap" policies which are standardized by the Federal Government. As with Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplements also work with Medicare.

Both types of plans are similar to one another with certain aspects, but there is also a considerable difference between them as well as many different options. They provide additional coverage to your existing Medicare, but one of the primary differences is that Medicare Advantage premiums are usually lower than Medicare Supplement plans. They include benefits and prescription drug coverage that your original Medicare does not. Out-of-pocket expenses are also higher.

There are certain services that Medicare Supplements do not cover and there is no provider network with Supplement plans whereas there is with Advantage plans. Although there are provider networks, you will pay additional costs for going outside of that provider network. Another significant difference between Advantage and supplement insurance is that Advantage plans limit the times during the year that you can enroll in one of their plans.

Conversely, Supplement plans allow you to enroll whenever you want throughout the entire year. Finally, you are required to have both Medicare Parts A and B in order to enroll in Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans. More information regarding either type of plan is available at Medicare's official website. You should talk with a licensed professional from an independent insurance broker before making any decisions.

Summit Medigap is an independent insurance agency that specializes in Medicare supplement insurance. We make Medicare seem easy™. For more information about Medicare supplement insurance visit or call us at 1-888-40-Summit (888-407-8664).

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