The older that we get, the more money that we spend on doctors, for treatments, and in general health care costs. It’s natural that are bodies start having more problems and we have to start seeing the doctor more often and need special treatment for health complications. The problem is that this extra medical attention can cost thousands and thousands of dollars every year.
Medicare is a great program that helps seniors way for those rising bills, but there is a lot to be desired in the Medicare coverage. If you’re looking to beef up your coverage and fill in some of the coverage that is left behind by Medicare, a Medigap plan is perfect for you. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of a Medigap plan, specifically Plan K.
Medicare supplement plan K is one of the less used Medicare supplement plans but can be useful for people who like how it approaches filling the gaps left by traditional Medicare coverage. You can get a set of Medicare supplement quotes from supplemental insurance companies by using the form on the side of this page or keep reading as we break down the coverage provided. If you would like a quote for a Medicare supplement in Georgia or simply want to know what the purpose of Medicare is, we can help you get the information you are searching for. If you already have coverage such as Medigap Plan J, we can help with this as well.
What is Medicare Supplement and Why Consider Having It?
Medicare Supplement Insurance is a type of coverage that helps to fill in some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. This can include the deductibles, coinsurance, and / or copayments. It can also include other services that aren’t covered by the Original Medicare program, such as foreign travel emergency expenses. This coverage is not offered by Medicare itself, but rather by private insurance companies. Because Medicare Supplement plans provide benefits that fill in many of Medicare’s coverage “gaps,” this insurance is often referred to as “Medigap” coverage.
There are ten different Medicare Supplement Insurance plans that are available. Each of these plans is named after a different letter of the alphabet – with Medicare Supplement Plan A offering the most basic set of benefit offerings. All of the other Medicare Supplement plans must provide at least the core benefit features that are available in Plan A, along with their additional offerings.
Although Medicare Supplement Insurance plans must all offer the same identical benefits for plans of the same corresponding letter, they do not have to charge the same premium. This means that a Medicare Supplement Plan A that is sold by one insurer could have a drastically different premium than a Plan A that is offered through a different insurance carrier. With that in mind, it is important to shop and compare prior to making a plan purchase.
While all of the plans are different, they are standardized across the Untied States, which means that regardless of which state you live in, Plan K is going to have the same benefits as it does in other states.
It is important to understand that Medicare Supplement is not the same things as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Supplement Insurance is coverage that pays benefits for various services and expenses that are not covered by Original Medicare, whereas Medicare Advantage is an alternative form of receiving your actual Medicare benefits. Many Medicare enrollees are very confused about the differences between the two. While they might seem similar, the differences could cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Medicare Advantage is also referred to as Medicare Part C. Those who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan cannot also have a Medicare Advantage plan. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage and wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, you must first switch back into Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).
What Do Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Cover?
In addition to being familiar with the price of Medicare Supplement premium prices, it is also important to understand the actual benefits that are offered. The core set of benefit offerings that are provided in Medicare Supplement Plan A include the following:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs – up to an additional 365 days after the Medicare benefits have been used up;
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment;
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment;
- Blood – the first three pints;
- Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.
Other Medicare Supplement Insurance plans will offer a variation of the core benefits, along with additional benefit offerings. And, certain plans will help enrollees to control out-of-pocket expenses. For example, Medigap Plan K provides the following benefits:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs – up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits have been used up;
- 50 percent of Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment;
- 50 percent of the first three pints of blood;
- 50 percent of the Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment;
- 50 percent of the skilled nursing facility care coinsurance;
- 50 percent of the Medicare Part A deductible.
With Medigap Plan K, the enrollee has an out-of-pocket limit (in 2015) of $4,940. This means that if the enrollee has a serious illness or injury, he or she will have the protection of an annual out-of-pocket limit on the dollar amount that is spent on their care. Once this limit, or “cap,” has been met, then Medigap Plan K will begin to pay 100 percent of the Medicare-approved expenses for the remainder of that year.
Good candidates for Medicare Supplement Plan K would be those who prefer to have a lower premium amount, yet who still want to attain a good amount of coverage and a wide array of services. Plan K gives you plenty of additional coverage without paying the premium prices for a more inclusive plan. Depending on your health and financial status, it could be the perfect plan for you.
This is in contrast to other Medicare Supplement Insurance options such as Medigap Plan F, which offers many benefit options. This plan provides all of the core benefit offerings that are provided in Plan A, along with the following benefit options:
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- 80 percent for foreign travel exchange – up to the plan’s limits
Another option would be to purchase Medicare supplement plan G. This plan covers everything in Plan F except for the Part B deductible of $147. Frequently Plan G can be $20 or more per month less than Plan F so you save money even after paying out that initial deductible.
One of the notable expenses that Plan F covers that Plan K doesn’t cover is the Medicare Part B excess charges. These are the charges that a doctor or hospital is legally allowed to bill over the Medicare approved amount. According to federal law, they are allowed to charge 15% more than they approved amount. If your Medigap plan doesn’t excess charges, you could be left to pay for those bills yourself. Depending on what the service or treatment it, those excess charges could be hundreds or thousands of dollars.
When To Enroll In A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Knowing when to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is important, as doing so at the right – or the wrong – time may have various implications for an individual. The best time to initially enroll in a Medigap plan is during one’s initial open enrollment period. This period lasts for six months. It begins when an individual is both 65 years of age and is enrolled in Medicare Part B.
If a person enrolls in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan at this time, he or she cannot be denied coverage – nor may they be charged a higher amount of premium for their Medigap plan – even if they have an adverse health condition. However, if they wait until after their open enrollment period has ended and then enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, they run the risk of being charged a higher premium, or even of being denied for the coverage that they want.
If you’ve already missed your open enrollment period, you might be discouraged, but don’t worry, there is still a good chance that you can be approved for a supplemental insurance plan. You might have to pay more every month, but you can’t put a price on the peace of mind and health care coverage that a supplemental plan will give you.
Deciding which Plan is Best for you can be a long and complicated process, but there are a few things that you should consider before you pick one. Your health is one of the biggest. Are you in excellent health, or are there some things that your doctor has been nagging you about for the last decade or so? What about your family history, is there a trend of healthy family members that live into their 100s or does your family have a history of health complications. Your health is going to have a huge impact on which Medigap plan you decide to buy.
The other contributing factor is your finances. Because the majority of Medicare participants are living on a fixed income, your budget is going to be one of the biggest aspects to impact your Medigap decision.
How much money can you set aside for your health care every month? Do you have enough money saved that you can afford to purchase a more inclusive plan that fills in all of Medicare’s gaps or do you need to take a plan that has less coverage but saves you money every month?
How and Where to Get the Best Premium Quotes for Medigap Plan K Coverage
If you are in the process of shopping for Medicare Supplement Insurance, and you want to ensure that you get the best premium price, then it is typically best to work with either an agency or a company that has access to more than just one Medicare Supplement insurance carrier. Doing so can help you to get a much better – and unbiased – comparison of the premium quotes.
When you are ready to move forward with your quote comparisons, we can help. We work with many of the top Medigap insurers in the marketplace today, and we can assist you in obtaining all of the pertinent information that you require in order to make an informed purchase decision. We can do so for you very quickly, easily, and conveniently – all from your home computer – and without the need to meet in person with an insurance agent. Otherwise, you could spend hours on the phone talking to different companies and answering the same questions. We even have experts here on staff who can answer your questions regarding Medicare and Medicare Supplement coverage. If you are ready to move forward, all you need to do is fill out the form on this page.
Should you find that you have any additional questions or concerns prior to making your final Medigap purchase decision, please feel free to contact us directly to speak with one of our trained experts. If you have any question or concern regarding which plan is right for you, when the best time to enroll is, or how Medicare Supplement works in conjunction with Original Medicare, please contact us. We would love to make sure that you have the best coverage at an affordable rate. No Medicare enrollee should ever have to sacrifice their health because they can’t afford the medical bills. We can also provide you with Medicare Supplement quotes as well. We can be reached by phone, toll-free, by dialing 800-376-0824.
We understand that the purchase of a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can seem a bit overwhelming. There are many variables to keep in place – and so many plans to choose from. That’s why it’s good to have an ally on your side. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.