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man reviewing medicare supplementsWhile Medicare is a comprehensive federal benefits program, it doesn’t cover all healthcare costs. Therefore, older adults nearing age 65 and/or in retirement, and those currently retired need to be aware of the Medicare supplements available to them. Some Medicare supplement insurance plans offer more extensive benefits than others covering specific needs like skilled nursing facilities. There are many different plans. Fortunately, SeniorSmart can guide you through each so you can decide which plan would best fit your needs or support your family appropriately.

Medicare Supplement Guide

Supplemental Medicare plans come in several forms. For instance, high-deductible, select, and innovative plans are all options individuals and their families need to be aware of. To get a general understanding of each, consider the following:

  • High deductible: These plans offer a lower monthly premium. However, the counter to this is a high annual out-of-pocket cost.
  • Select plans: With Medicare plans, patients can usually choose to visit any doctor that accepts Medicare without a referral. A select supplement plan restricts the individuals to a smaller network of preapproved facilities and doctors. Doing so keeps premiums much lower than other plans.
  • Innovative plans: This option usually has high premiums, but include additional benefits such as dental coverage and vision coverage.

No matter what supplemental plan you are considering, understand there will be pros and cons. For instance, utilizing traditional Medicare with supplement plans will have higher monthly premiums than an Advantage plan, but with that comes a much better choice of doctors and hospitals. Supplement plans can also be built to cover almost all of your costs of care. The fact that is, selecting a combination of supplement options can be complicated. This precisely when SeniorSmart can be an invaluable resource/partner for you and your loved ones as you work to make your best decision.

Additionally, there will be different pricing structures that determine how much a policy costs. Factors involved in pricing structures will include the following:

  • Attained age: This is at its cheapest upon initial enrollment at 65. Premiums for these policies will increase each year.
  • Community rated: These premiums are the same for all people living in a given area (thus, community) regardless of age. But other lifestyle factors are used to determine the cost.
  • Issue age: Such a supplemental insurance plan’s pricing is contingent upon the individual’s age when first purchased. Unlike attained age policies, these do not automatically increase every year.  

Some of the Best Medicare Supplements

Medigap insurance plans are designed to pay the cost that Medicare does not. SeniorSmart can explain to individuals and families, through our Medicare supplement guide, the differences between each plan. Individuals can’t buy a Medigap plan directly through Healthcare.gov; instead, individuals need to purchase their plan from an insurance provider. For prescription drugs, individuals will need a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan to cover drug costs.

There are 36 companies in Alabama approved to offer one or more Medigap plans, including Blue Cross and United Healthcare, along with other well-known insurance companies and many lesser-known firms. Each of these private insurers offers several Medicare supplemental plans.

  • Plan G: This is arguably the best overall plan for new applicants because it provides the most coverage for seniors. Plan G covers almost everything except the Medicare Part B deductible and prescription drug costs. This plan will have the highest monthly premium.
  • Plan K: If individuals are looking for the most affordable supplemental plan, then this will fit the need. Plan K provides only 50% coverage for Medicare Part B coinsurance, blood work, Part A hospice, skilled nursing, and Part A deductible. For this reason, monthly premiums will be much cheaper with this plan.

Get a Head Start Through SeniorSmart

Finding the right Medigap supplemental insurance plan is key to making your retirement healthcare easier. SeniorSmart can provide you and your family with clear, concise explanations of your options so you can make the most informed decisions possible. We offer concierge services designed to give you advice, guidance and assistance for your particular circumstances. We provide information and advice on the following:

So reach out to us at 205.460.1124 to learn more about our services and how we can design customized advice for your specific needs.

For more information, please download this guide: