WHICH MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN IS BEST?
Which Medicare Supplement plan is best for you? We know you hate to hear this, but it depends. There are 10 standard Medigap plans: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each offers its own level of coverage for your out-of-pocket expenses.
In fact, the only thing that unites them is that they all cover 100 percent of your Original Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs. Otherwise, they’re all different.
Today, we’ll compare the Medigap plans to decide which Medicare Supplement plan is best for your specific needs.
HOW DO THE 10 STANDARD MEDIGAP PLANS DIFFER?
While 10 standard Medigap plans exist, two of them are no longer available to new Medicare enrollees starting January 1, 2020: Plan F and Plan C. To decide which Medicare Supplement plan is best for you, it helps to compare the 8 standard offerings side by side. That way, you can visualize the out-of-pocket savings.
This is the comparison chart for 2020:
As you can see, only two Medigap plans offer out-of-pocket limits: K and L. Additionally, only F and G cover your Original Medicare Part B excess charges, which are out-of-pocket costs in excess of what Original Medicare will pay. While Plan F is no longer available to new enrollees, Plan G is a comparable choice.
If you travel frequently, you might want to select one of the six plans that cover foreign travel emergency: Medigap plans D, F, G, M, and N. Or, if you want to avoid paying coinsurance or a copayment for Original Medicare Part B services, Plans K and L might not be on your radar because they only cover 50 and 75 percent of those out-of-pocket costs respectively.
Medigap Plans A and B do not cover skilled nursing facility coinsurance. This can be a major game-changer for many seniors. Paying for skilled nursing out-of-pocket might seem like something you don’t want to tackle financially, so you can choose one of the other eight plans.
Which Medicare Supplement plan is best? As you can see from the information above, it depends entirely on what matters to you. We’ll cover some important factors to consider in making your decision.
WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE OUT-OF-POCKET MEDICAL COSTS FOR SENIORS?
On average, Medicare beneficiaries spend an average of $3,024 every year on out-of-pocket medical costs. This average doesn’t take into account whether those beneficiaries have Medigap plans or not.
It’s also important to note that seniors spend about 20 percent of their total income on healthcare costs if they’re within 200 percent of the poverty level. When you’re living on a fixed income and juggling other expenses, 20 percent looks like a pretty high number.
When deciding which Medicare Supplement plan is best, don’t just consider the premium you’ll pay to your insurance company. Take into account your out-of-pocket medical expenses and what you can cover if the need for serious medical treatment arises. Balancing those two factors can help you make a more informed decision.
WHAT DOES THE AVERAGE PERSON PAY FOR MEDIGAP PLANS?
The average Medigap plan cost varies widely depending on where you live. For instance, if you’re comparing premiums for Medigap Plan F, the average in 2018 was $109.16 in Hawaii, $134 in Kansas, and $162.25 in Massachusetts.
Keep in mind, though, the more comprehensive a plan, the more it will cost.
In Texas, for instance, Medigap Plan A costs an average of $80 per month, while Plan G, which is close to Plan F, costs an average of $94 per month.
Which Medicare Supplement plan is best for your pocketbook? It all depends on what level premium you’re willing to pay and where you live. Maybe your state has high premium averages, but extremely affordable healthcare services.
ARE YOU MORE CONCERNED ABOUT FRONT- OR BACK-END COSTS?
As we noted, it’s essential to balance different types of healthcare costs. Your up-front cost is your monthly premium. That’s fixed. You pay it every month regardless of whether you visit the doctor or go to the hospital.
Then you have back-end costs. These are your out-of-pocket expenses related to specific treatment or care, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
Which Medicare Supplement plan is best for your wallet? Consider how much you pay out-of-pocket for healthcare now. What’s the average over the last few years?
You might even research Medicare providers in your area. Do they charge more than Original Medicare covers?
WHICH MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN IS BEST?
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you which Medicare Supplement plan is best because it varies from one person to another. You know your finances and your healthcare needs more than anyone else, so you should be the one to pick a Medigap plan that fits with your lifestyle.
Consider all types of costs associated with your healthcare needs, then take a look at your budget. Knowing how much income you’ll have during retirement can help you make a more informed choice.
You can also consult with family members and friends who have already chosen their Medigap plans. What is their experience? Do they have any recommendations?
When you’ve gathered your research, sit down with your spouse or significant other and consider the numbers. If you’re choosing a Medigap plan based on empirical data, you stand a better chance of selecting the right plan.
Medigap plans can make budgeting for retirement far simpler. There are 10 standard plans, each of which offers a unique set of coverage levels.
Some cover your Original Medicare Part A or Part B deductibles, for instance. This means you don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in.
Others cover various types of coinsurance. You won’t have to pay a percentage of the total cost of healthcare services. This is similar to copayment coverage, which means you won’t have to pay a fixed fee when you see a provider.
If you’re wondering how much you’ll pay per month in premiums for different plans, use Ensurem’s Medigap Quoter. In one minute or less, you can get quotes from insurance companies in your area.
Those quotes will help you decide what Medicare Supplement plan will best serve your needs.