Medicare Supplements

Medicare Supplements...A Commitment in Care

Medicare Supplements are one of our commitments in care for our clients. They are among my most favorite plans to educate clients about whether in a personal, private meeting setting or in a workshop presentation setting. The subtle nuances of Medicare Supplement plans are so important to understand and to be certain the right elections are made at the right time. So often, we are contacted by individuals who have made the wrong choices or failed to make the right choices in the timeframes that are required. Let me help you before you make your elections. Let's be sure you get what you need, when you need it, and let's do this together. ~ Tim Bruner ~ Sue Huff, CLTC (Individual Plan Sales)

What Is a Medicare Supplement?

A Medicare Supplement is a type of private insurance that helps you pay for some of the costs that Original Medicare does not cover, such as: copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Medicare Supplements are also often called "Medigap Coverage or Medigap Policies". The term "Original Medicare" refers to Medicare Part A (hospital insurance piece) and Part B (medical insurance [outpatient]). Today, you have a choice between the Original Medicare Part A and Part B or a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you elect a Medicare Advantage Plan, you do not need a Medicare Supplement and cannot be sold one. Only those who choose the Original Medicare Part A and Part B option should carefully review their needs for a Medicare Supplement.

How Does It Work?

If you have Original Medicare Part A and Part B plus a Medicare Supplement, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amounts for covered health care costs. Then, your Medicare Supplement policy pays its share. Note: You must have Original Medicare Part A and Part B in effect in order to buy a Medicare Supplement.

Are There Time Limitations or Specific Purchase Periods for Medicare Part D and Medicare Supplement Plans?

Yes, there are. The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement is during your Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Your Open Enrollment Period lasts for 6 months and begins on the first day of the month you are age 65 or older and you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. It is very important that you understand the value of the Open Enrollment Period. During that six month period of time, the insurance companies who issue Medicare Supplements cannot consider your health conditions and decline coverage. Your coverage is guaranteed to issue for the same price as healthy insureds during the Open Enrollment Period. ~ Tim Bruner ~

What is Not Covered by a Medicare Supplement?

Anything that Original Medicare would not cover. For example, Medicare Supplements will not cover long term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private duty nursing. Medicare does not provide those benefits either.

Is Medicare Part D the Same as a Medicare Supplement?

No, it is not. Medicare Part D is Medicare's stand alone benefit option for prescription drugs. Medicare Supplement policies issued after 2006 are not allowed to include Prescription Drug Coverage. Some of the older Medicare Supplement policies do include prescription drug benefits. If you choose to obtain the Original Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), you should consider Part D for your prescription drugs and you should also consider a Medicare Supplement. ~ Tim Bruner ~

Does Medicare Provide Nursing Home Coverage or Long Term Care?

No, it does not. Nursing home and long term care benefits are typically covered by a separate Long Term Care policy you purchase specifically for those benefits. Group insurance plans, individual medical plans, and Medicare plans do not cover long term care needs. Many people are not aware of this fact. Accidents and illnesses happen to young people as well as older people. Many of the residents of long term care facilities are young victims of illness and injuries. Group insurance and individual insurance plans are not paying for their long term residential care. It's important to know...long term care needs are not just for the retired elderly population. Those needs can occur at any age, at any time.

Helpful Resources

The following guides are issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. They are very handy references to review.

Choosing A Medicare Supplement.pdf
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Medicare and You.pdf
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Who Pays First Guide.pdf
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Your Medicare Benefits.pdf
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