Medigap Plans serve a single purpose, to supplement your Original Medicare Plan. It is for this reason that they are called Supplement Plans. However, you actually need to have an Original Medicare plan to be able to get a Medigap plan. The supplement plan does not offer any stand-alone benefits, this is why an Original Medicare plan is required so that your hospital and medical needs are taken care of.
Access to Medigap plans for people under 65 is dependent on your state of residence. This is still the case even if you have Medicare for one reason or the other. No state is required by law to offer Medigap to residents under 65 and as such, total discretion falls on them. For those on prescription medication, the best way to cover this cost is to get a stand-alone Medicare Plan that covers the medication.
If you have both of the plans, an Original Medicare Plan and a Medicare Supplement Plan, then your original plan takes the first crack at payment and the supplement plan covers the gaps left in the bill.
Other Plans That Aren’t Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare beneficiaries tend to have one or two other coverage plans either privately, through employment or simply through Medicare. In the initial stages of Joining an Original Medicare Plan, it is usually advisable to list any and all medical coverage plans that you are enrolled in. this helps Medicare determine the order in which you bill should be taken care of to ensure maximum coverage.
Here are a few medical covers that do not supplement plans
- Medicare Advantage Plus
- Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
- Veteran’s Benefits
Benefits Covered by Medicare Supplement Plans
There are around 12 different standardized Medicare Supplement Plans available. The levels of coverage and premiums incurred for each vary depending on the company offering the insurance, the state and in some cases the individual being covered. However, the benefits remain the same for all individuals and these are determined by the lettered plan that you are covered by. For example, the benefits of Plan C enjoyed by residents or Arizona will be similar for the residents of Texas and those of Arkansas. This is the case of all plans unless stated otherwise during the acquisition of the Medigap Policy.
Some benefits covered by Medicare include:
- Blood, the first 3 pints
- Medicare Part B copayment
- Medicare Part A hospital costs and coinsurance
- Part A copayments of hospice care
Benefits Not Covered by Medigap Plans
Medicare supplement plans do not cover the following:
- Hearing aids
- Prescription drugs
- Long-term care
- Routine vision and dental care
- Private-duty nurses
It is always good to know that Medicare Supplement Plans 2019 are personal. This means that they do not cover spouses and each individual in a marriage should have their own Medigap Plan specific to their medical needs. The state that you are in also determines the types of Medigap policies that are available to you. This is generally what Medicare Supplement Plans are and how they relate to your Original Medicare Plan.