Medicare Supplement refers to various private healthcare insurance plans sold commercially to augment Medicare in the United States, which are not purchased directly from the government. The most common Medicare Supplement plan is Part D, which covers medical insurance and certain prescriptions. It is important to understand that Medicare Supplement plans are completely separate from Medicare itself and have their own terms and conditions. Most importantly, they are not meant to supplant Medicare, but can be used instead if Medicare is not an option.
Understanding how Medicare supplement insurance plans work is important for anyone who has Medicare or who wants to make sure that Medicare does not cancel coverage for any items or services that they need to use. For this reason it is helpful to consult with a Medicare advantage consultant who can explain in layman’s terms how Medicare supplement plans work and which programs are available to help fill in any gaps that Medicare might not cover. Most states have their own websites where you can find a list of all of the Medicare advantage programs in your state.
These programs are standardized so that each insurer will be able to offer the same level of coverage. Some companies will list all of the coverage options for the plan, while others will just list the ten “essential” services that the government requires to be covered by anyone taking out a policy. A more flexible company would allow its policyholders to select any ten Medicare service providers and even pick a supplemental insurance agent to fill out any claims.
It is important that you understand the difference between full Medicare coverage and just being allowed to fill out part of the government’s requirements. Many Medicare Supplement plans will automatically cover all of the basic coverage options; however, it is critical that you understand that service providers are not covered because there may be a fee involved for them. It is up to you to ask your Medicare Advantage insurance agent or consultant to explain all of the Medicare Supplement plans and what services they cover before agreeing to pay any premiums.