United Life Group

2018 Medicare Supplement Plans

A Guide to Understanding Medicare Supplement Plans in 2018

You may see Medicare supplement plans for 2018 referred to as Medigap plans. This nickname stuck because Medicare devised these plans to fill in the gaps for medical expenses that Original Medicare doesn’t fully cover or even cover at all.

Original Medicare refers to Part A and B, sometimes also called the hospital and medical parts of the plan. If you compare these two portions, you will notice that Part A mostly focuses on hospital, hospice, and other sorts of inpatient care. Part B tends to focus on outpatient care and trips to the doctor’s office. This is why it’s so important to know and compare all of the Medicare Supplement Plans for 2018 available near you.

To qualify for a 2018 Medigap plan, you need to have Part A and B of Original Medicare. One of the best times to get a policy is when you first qualify for Medicare, but you may also apply at other times. For six months after you originally take Medicare, you won’t have to answer health questions. At other time, you might; however, you may still qualify for coverage anyway.

The Basics of Medicare Supplement Plans In 2018

If you live in 47 states, you will find Medicare supplement plans in 2018 with names that range from Plan A to Plan N. If you live in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Massachusetts, you will find that your options are structured a bit differently, but they still offer the same sorts of coverage. For a very detailed guide to standard and state-specific Medicare supplement plans for 2018, you can visit the “How to Compare” page on the official Medicare website.

It might help to look at some things that all 2018 Medicare supplement plans have in common. For instance:

  • Each one of the Medigap supplement plans will cover Part A hospice and hospital coinsurance charges and the first three pints of blood.
  • They will also cover additional days in the hospital in case you have exhausted your benefits from Part A of Original Medicare.

Without additional insurance, these gaps in Original Medicare could generate high out-of-pocket costs. You may prefer to have even more coverage to make sure you rarely need to worry about medical bills. For instance, Plan F will provide you with coverage for just about any gap in your Part A and B of Original Medicare benefits. This includes help with charges that exceed Medicare-allowed amounts, urgent healthcare outside of the United States, and even the Part B deductible.

When it comes to finding the right 2018 Medicare supplement plans it’s important to consider what types of coverage you will need. Some people are looking for coverage for skilled nursing while others need foreign travel coverage. It’s also important to compare the best Medicare supplement plans in your state because that’s where you will be purchasing your 2018 Medigap plan.

Even though Plan F typically costs the most, it’s also the most commonly chosen out of all of the Medigap plans. Many people find that it is best to pay for more coverage and then never pay medical bills. Since the Part B deductible isn’t that high, you might be able to save money by choosing Plan G, a supplement with the same benefits as Plan F with the exception of the Part B deductible.

This example wasn’t intended to tell you to buy Plan F or G; however, it was meant to demonstrate how you can compare premiums and benefits in the light of your own healthcare preferences and needs.

How to Find the Best Medigap Plans for You?

Even though the federal or state governments standardize these plans, private health insurance companies market them to to the public. Because they have been standardized, the same supplement will always give you exactly the same benefits. In other words, Plan F from Gerber Life will provide you with the same coverage as Plan F from State Farm or Mutual of Omaha.

This is a quick summary of some of the best Medicare Supplement Plan companies:

  • Gerber Life: Gerber Life Insurance Company is more well known for offering cheap life insurance policies for children, elderly people, and younger adults. The marketing arm of Gerber Life Insurance that provides this kind of coverage is called Medicare Supplement Specialists, and they do not work in every state.
  • AARP: Actually, AARP markets policies that are provided by United Healthcare. Unlike Gerber Life, you can find United Healthcare almost everywhere. In many states, they are the most common insurer for Medigap.
  • State Farm: Most people think of State Farm as a car and homeowners insurance company; however, they also market life and health insurance in some areas.
  • Mutual of Omaha: This insurer has a reputation for competitive prices, and they are active in most states. Mutual of Omaha has also been in the Medicare business for many decades.

How do you know which insurer is best?

Remember that you will get the exact same coverage for a particular supplement from Gerber Life, United Healthcare, or any other approved insurance company. You don’t have to compare the benefits of Plan C from one company to the next because they will be the same. Either way you can’t go wrong comparing Medicare Supplement Plans 2018 in Florida, California, Arizona or any of the other 50 states.

Because of this, you can simply compare premiums. This makes 2018 Medigap plans one of the easiest kinds of health insurance to shop for. After you compare premiums, you are free to consider insurers that offer you the best rates.