FHI: Your Medicare Health Experts
If you are a resident of Tampa, Florida, and eligible for Medicare, you may be considering Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans. Medicare Supplement Plans are insurance policies sold by private companies that can help cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare.
In this blog, we will explore the different types of Medicare Supplement Plans available in Tampa, FL and how they work.
Original Medicare is the government-run health insurance program for people aged 65 or older and those with certain disabilities. Original Medicare consists of two parts: Part A(Hospital Insurance) and Part B(Outpatient Services) . Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care services. Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, medical equipment, and some preventive services.
While Original Medicare covers many medical expenses, it does not cover everything. Beneficiaries are responsible for paying deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for the services covered by Medicare. This is where Medicare Supplement Plans come in.
Unlike health insurance that is needlessly complicated Medicare coverage is a breeze.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement Plans are private insurance policies that can help pay for the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare. These insurance plans are designed to work alongside Original Medicare and are sold by private insurance companies.
There are 10 different types of Medicare Supplement Plans available, each labeled with a letter from A to N.
Each Medigap plan offers a different set of benefits, with Plan A being the most basic and Medigap Plan G being the most comprehensive. Plan A covers only the coinsurance for hospital stays, while Plan G covers everything except for the Part B deductible.
With a Medigap plan you can go to any provider nationwide who accepts Medicare. Regardless of which plan you choose, Medigap plans provide peace of mind by helping to cover the costs associated with Original Medicare.
Licensed and Certified Representatives
When considering a Medigap plan, it’s important to work with a licensed and certified representative. These representatives can help you understand your options, compare plans, and enroll in a plan that meets your needs. They can also help you navigate the rules and regulations surrounding Medicare, Medical Insurance and Medigap plans.
Pay and Costs
The cost of a Medigap plan can depend on factors such as your age, gender, and health status. It’s important to compare prices from different insurance companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. It’s also important to compare the coverage and benefits of each plan to make sure it meets your individual needs. While the cost of a Medigap plan may be higher than other types of insurance, it can provide significant savings in the long run by reducing your out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies
Tampa, FL has a plethora of good Medicare companies to choose from. Amongst the best Medicare supplement plans are Florida Blue, AARP United Healthcare, and United American Insurance company. AARP United Healthcare even offers a prescription drugs plan.
Plans offered are A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N, so there’s an option for every budget and level of coverage.
Florida Blue’s Medigap plans also come with added benefits, such as a 24/7 nurse hotline, fitness program discounts, and emergency travel coverage. They also offer a variety of prescription drug plans to help cover the cost of medications. FHI does not offer Florida Blue Medigap plans.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal agency responsible for overseeing Medicare and Medigap plans. CMS sets the standards that insurance companies must follow when selling Medigap plans and ensures that beneficiaries are protected from fraudulent practices.
CMS also provides resources for beneficiaries in Hillsborough county to learn more about Medicare and Medigap plans. Their website has a wealth of information on how to enroll in Medicare, how to compare plans, and how to file a complaint if you believe you have been treated unfairly. CMS will also have a list of plans in your area.
Part B Deductible
One of the most significant out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries is the Part B deductible. In 2023, the Part B deductible is $226, which means beneficiaries are responsible for paying the first $226 of their medical expenses each year. After the deductible has been met, Medicare pays for 80% of the remaining medical costs thereafter.
However, if you have a Medicare Plan that covers the Part B deductible, you don’t have to pay anything your medical expenses once the deductible has been met. The only exception is for a Prescription Drug This can provide significant savings for beneficiaries who have high medical expenses.
Coinsurance and Excess Charges
In addition to the Part B deductible, beneficiaries are also responsible for paying coinsurance and excess charges. Coinsurance is the amount you pay for medical services after you have met your deductible. For example, if you have a medical bill of $1,000 and your coinsurance is 20%, you would be responsible for paying $200.
Excess charges are an additional cost that can occur if a doctor or provider charges more than the Medicare-approved amount for a service. If you have a Medigap plan that covers excess charges, you don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket for these additional costs.
Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plans
There are many benefits to enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan. Some of the key benefits include:
- Reduced out-of-pocket costs: Medigap plans can help cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
- Flexibility: Medigap plans allow you to choose your own doctors and hospitals, giving you more flexibility and control over your healthcare.
- Comprehensive coverage: Depending on the plan you choose, Medigap plans can offer comprehensive coverage, including the Part B deductible and excess charges.
- Peace of mind: Medigap plans provide peace of mind by helping to cover the costs of unexpected medical expenses. The Medicare Contract will never be cancelled if the monthly premium is paid.
Plan F used to be the most popular Medigap plan, but it is no longer available to new beneficiaries. However, if you were enrolled in Plan F before January 1, 2020, you can keep your plan and continue to receive the same coverage and benefits.
Plan F covers everything that Original Medicare does not, including the Part B deductible and excess charges. While it may be more expensive than other plans, it can provide significant savings or beneficiaries who have high medical expenses.
Plan G is now the most comprehensive Medigap plan available to new beneficiaries. It covers everything that Plan F does, except for the Part B deductible. This means that beneficiaries are responsible for paying the Part B deductible each year, but once it has been met, they don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket for their medical expenses.
Plan G may be a better choice for beneficiaries who don’t mind paying the Part B deductible in exchange for lower monthly premiums. In some cases, the savings on premiums may outweigh the cost of the deductible. Plan G even covers Medicare Excess charges.
Licensed and Certified Representatives
When you’re shopping for a Medigap plan, it’s important to work with a licensed and certified representative. These representatives can help you compare plans and find the best option for your individual needs and budget.
Licensed and certified representatives have undergone extensive training and are required to pass an exam before they can sell Medigap plans. They must also complete continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements.
Working with a licensed and certified representative can help ensure that you’re getting accurate information and that you’re making an informed decision about your healthcare coverage.
The cost of a Medigap plan varies depending on the plan you choose, your age, and where you live. In general, the more comprehensive the medigap plan cost, the more expensive it will be.
However, it’s important to remember that while the average monthly premium premiums for a Medigap plan may be higher than other types of insurance, it can provide significant savings in the long run by reducing your out-of-pocket costs.
Prescription Drug Coverage
Medigap plans do not include prescription drug coverage. To get prescription drug coverage, you must enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.
It’s important to compare Part D plans to find the best option for your individual needs and budget. Each plan has its own formulary, or list of covered medications, and costs can vary widely between plans.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare and Medigap plans. These plans are offered by private companies and provide all of the same benefits as Original Medicare, but may also include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, dental, vision, and hearing benefits, and wellness programs.
It’s important to note that Medicare Supplement Plans are not the same as Medicare Advantage Plans. Medicare Advantage Plans are also sold by private insurance companies but provide an alternative way to receive Medicare benefits. These plans work differently than Original Medicare and usually have their own network of doctors and hospitals.
Medicare Advantage Plans typically offer additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, vision, hearing, and dental benefits. However, these plans also have their own set of rules and restrictions, and you may have to pay out-of-pocket costs such as copayments and deductibles. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you cannot also enroll in a Medigap plan.
However, Medicare Advantage plans typically have more restrictions than Original Medicare and Medigap plans. For example, you may be limited to a network of providers, and may require referrals to see specialists.
Medicare Advantage plans also have out-of-pocket limits, which can be helpful for beneficiaries who have high medical expenses. However, the out-of-pocket limits may be higher than what you would pay with a Medigap plan.
This is the End
Choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan in Tampa, FL can be overwhelming, but with the right information and guidance, you can find a plan that meets your individual needs and budget.
It’s important to compare the coverage and benefits of each plan to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. Working with a licensed and certified representative can help ensure that you’re making an informed decision about your healthcare coverage.
Medigap plans can provide significant savings in the long run by reducing your out-of-pocket costs, making them a popular choice for many Medicare beneficiaries. Plan G is now the most comprehensive plan available to new beneficiaries, while Plan F is still available to those who were enrolled before January 1, 2020.
While Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits, they may have more restrictions and higher out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare and Medigap plans. It’s important to compare all of your options to find the best fit for your individual needs and budget. For a quote on a Medicare Supplement plan in Tampa or the surrounding areas please give us a call at 954-282-6891 or click here