MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN D
Medicare Supplement Plan D is an additional insurance policy that offers a different level of coverage. Read more to learn how this plan can provide additional support for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance fees.
Medicare Supplement Plan D — also called Medigap Plan D — is one of 10 Medigap plans available to Original Medicare beneficiaries. Like the other plans, it’s an additional insurance policy that covers things Original Medicare Parts A and B do not, such as deductibles and copayments, but each plan offers a different level of coverage.
If you’re not sure which Medigap plan will work for you, understanding the benefits you receive from Medicare Supplement Plan D can help you decide if it fits your needs. Every Original Medicare beneficiary is different, so you want to explore all the Medigap plans in search of the right one.
WHAT IS MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN D?
Medicare Supplement Plan D is a fairly comprehensive Medigap plan that covers quite a few deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance fees. You can use it in addition to Original Medicare so you pay less out-of-pocket for certain healthcare expenses.
8 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MEDIGAP PLAN D
We’ve identified the eight most important things to know about Medicare Supplement Plan D if you’re considering it as a supplement to Medicare. Every insurance company that offers Medigap Plan D provides the same level of coverage.
However, some insurance companies charge more than others. Even though they cover the same healthcare costs, they decide what premiums to charge their customers. Comparison shopping allows you to choose not only a Medigap plan, such as Medicare Supplement Plan D, but also a plan that fits your budget.
1. YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY ORIGINAL MEDICARE PART B COPAYMENTS OR COINSURANCE
Medicare Part B covers outpatient and physician visits, but without Medigap plans, you might have copayments or coinsurance. A copayment is a fixed fee, such as $10, while coinsurance is a percentage of the total bill, such as 20 percent. If you have Medicare Supplement Plan D, you won’t have to pay those out-of-pocket costs.
2. YOUR BLOOD DRAWS ARE COVERED
Under Original Medicare, you’re responsible for covering the expenses related to the first three pints of blood drawn for blood tests, such as complete blood counts. If you have Medigap Plan D, you won’t have to pay for those first three pints every year, which can ease some of the pressure off your budget.
3. HOSPICE AND SKILLED NURSING CARE ARE COVERED 100 PERCENT
With Medicare Supplement Plan D, you won’t have any copayments or coinsurance associated with skilled nursing care or hospice care up to your plan limits. Hospice care is temporary care provided to patients with terminal illnesses, while skilled nursing care is brief care provided during recovery from an illness or injury.
Keep in mind that nursing homes are not a form of skilled nursing care. A nursing home provides far more medical support, and is not covered by your Medigap plan.
4. FOREIGN TRAVEL EMERGENCY IS COVERED AT 80 PERCENT
If you like to travel abroad, you can use your Medicare Supplement Plan D insurance to cover 80 percent of healthcare costs incurred overseas. Many retirees enjoy traveling, and if you plan to leave the country, you might feel safer knowing you won’t have to cover as many out-of-pocket expenses should you get sick or injured.
5. YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY MEDICARE PART A COPAYMENTS OR COINSURANCE
When you’re hospitalized for an injury or illness, Medicare Part A involves copayments and coinsurance for which you’re responsible. With Medigap Plan D, you don’t have to pay those out-of-pocket costs. You also get an extra 365 days of hospital coverage above and beyond what Medicare covers.
6. THE MEDICARE PART A DEDUCTIBLE IS COVERED
As of 2018, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,340 per year. You must pay that amount out-of-pocket before Medicare begins to pick up the cost of your healthcare. Medicare Supplement Plan D eliminates that deductible, which can have a huge impact on your budget.
7. YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY FOR MEDICARE PART B DEDUCTIBLES AND EXCESS CHARGES OUT-OF-POCKET
Two things that Medicare Supplement Plan D doesn’t cover are the Medicare Part B deductible and excess charges.
The deductible, as of 2018, is $183. Excess charges vary depending on your provider. Physicians and other healthcare professionals sometimes charge more than what Original Medicare pays. If you have Medigap Plans F or G, you don’t have to pay those excess charges, but Medigap Plan D doesn’t cover them.
8. MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN D OFFERS TWICE THE COVERAGE OF MEDIGAP PLAN K
Many people compare Medigap Plans D and K. They’re extremely similar except that, while Medicare Supplement Plan D covers 100 percent of the expenses listed above, Medigap Plan K only covers 50 percent.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll likely pay a lower premium with Medigap Plan K, which can help reduce your monthly bills. Consider whether you feel more comfortable paying higher upfront costs for lower out-of-pocket expenses or if you prefer to manage your finances the other way around.
Medicare Supplement Plan D is just one of 10 Medigap plans. You can compare it to other plans, such as Medicare Supplement Plan K, to determine which one will best serve your needs. Consider your budget, traveling plans, pre-existing conditions, and any other factor that might influence your out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
To learn more about your Medicare Supplement insurance plan options, use Ensurem’s convenient Medigap Quoter. You can get quotes from numerous insurance companies in your area and compare plans as well as premiums.