Frequently Asked Medicare Supplement Questions

What is Medicare?

Medicare is the national health insurance program for people 65 and over. It is also eligible for people with certain disabilities and end stage renal disease (ESRD).

Who is eligible?

You are automatically eligible for Medicare parts A and B the first month you turn 65. If you are under 65 and have a disability, you will receive Medicare parts A and B after you receive social security benefits after a 24 month waiting period.

What are Medicare Supplement Insurance plans?

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also called Medigap, plans are health insurance plans that cover the gaps of original Medicare (parts A and B). The gaps in coverage happens when you are required by Medicare to pay your out-of-pocket cost (your 20% coinsurance). Medicare and Medicare Supplement work together to give you your health coverage.

What does Medicare Supplement insurance cover?

Medicare Supplement insurance covers part or all of the following…

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance
  • Hospital costs
  • Medicare Part B copayments and coinsurance
  • The first three pints of blood for a transfusion
  • Medicare Part A hospice care copayments and coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A coinsurance for skilled nursing care facilities
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency care

In most states, Medicare Supplement plans are standardized. What that means is, for example, plan N in one state is the same in other states. Those plans would be exactly the same.

Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans are standardized in most states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts are standardized differently.)

What are Medicare parts A and B? What do they cover?

Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance. It helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care.

Medicare Part B is your medical insurance. It covers you for doctor’s visits and other health providers, outpatient and home health services, durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, etc,.), and preventive services like wellness visits, screenings, and vaccines.

Can I keep my doctor?

If your doctor accepts Medicare, your doctor will accept your Medicare Supplement plan.

What if I move to a new state, vacation in another state, or spend most of the year in another state?

Your Medicare Supplement plan usually travels with you out of state. This is a major difference between the Medicare Supplement plan and Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage usually does not travel with you out of state.