Medicare Supplement Insurance plans: what's available in 2021?
The world of Medicare Supplement Insurance can be intimidating. But it’s helpful to know there is no shortage of options for consumers who want extra help covering the gaps of Original Medicare. Here, we break down each of the Medicare Supplement Insurance plan types along with updates in 2021.
Know “Plans” vs. “Parts”
Medicare Supplement Insurance, otherwise known as "Medigap", offers 10 plan types to choose from: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N.
While Medigap plans help cover the gaps left by Original Medicare, it’s important to note that these plans are different from the “Parts” of Medicare. Original Medicare is made up of Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Medicare Part C is typically labeled as Medicare Advantage, while Part D is known as prescription drug coverage. Medigap plans are entirely different from these Medicare Parts.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan A and Plan B
The most basic Medigap option is Plan A. This will cover the 20% copayment that Medicare requires for outpatient treatment, but it does not cover deductibles or the Part B excess charges.
- Plan A is a lower-cost Medigap plan, but it does not cover the Part A hospital deductible, which can quickly add up.
- Plan B has the same level of coverage as Plan A, but includes the Part A hospital deductible.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan C and Plan D
While Medigap Plan C is no longer available for new enrollees, it is still open to those who became eligible prior to January 1, 2020. For those who cannot enroll in Plan C, Medigap Plan D is a good alternative as it offers similar coverage, except it does not cover the Part B deductible (neither plan pays Medicare Part B excess charges).
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F
Similar to Plan C, Plan F is only available for those who became eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020. Many who would have opted for Medigap Plan F are now choosing Plan G, which is largely similar.
When it was available, Plan F paid for practically everything that Medicare did not cover. There was little worry about being hit with out-of-pocket costs after receiving medical care. While the monthly premium for this plan was more expensive, its comprehensive coverage assured consumers of predictable medical costs.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan G
This high-deductible plan is gaining in popularity as people seek a cost-effective option that still has extensive coverage. It provides nearly all the same benefits as Plan F, but at a lower monthly premium because it does not cover the Part B deductible.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans K, L, and M
Medigap Plans K, L, and M are all lower-cost options. In exchange for the lower premiums, these plans cover only a portion of the amount not covered by Original Medicare. These plans can be thought of as partial coverage plans and make sense for those who want coverage, but do not want a high monthly premium.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan N
Finally, the newest Medigap option is Plan N. This lower-cost option covers copays for doctor's visits and trips to the emergency room. The copays for these visits are typically not very expensive, so it would make sense to review whether the savings on this plan could fit your budget.
Medicare Supplement Insurance updates for 2021
For 2021, Medigap Plans C and F will continue to phase out. If you became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you do not have the option to enroll in Plan C or F. However, those who already have these plans are generally allowed to keep them.
Analysts expect that Medigap Plan G will grow in popularity in 2021, a high-deductible plan. 2021 enrollees are expected to pay a deductible of $2,370 before coverage begins, but the plan will then cover everything not covered by Original Medicare.
As for other Medicare changes coming in 2021:
- Medicare Part B will increase its standard yearly deductible to $203, and if you are a new enrollee, this deductible will need to be paid out-of-pocket.
- Part B Premiums are going up by roughly 3%.
- Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible is increasing by roughly 5%.
- The cost for a day of inpatient care (once you use up your 60 inpatient days in a period) is increasing by 6%. Long hospital stays can mean expensive bills without Medigap coverage.
As health care costs are are quickly rising, Medicare Supplement Insurance can make your health care more affordable and protect you from large, unexpected out-of-pocket costs.
UMA's Licensed Insurance Agents take the time to learn about your unique health needs and compare premiums from multiple insurance carriers so you can find the best deal on the right coverage for you.
Give us a call today at 1-855-665-9200 or visit our Plan Comparison tool to start shopping for this integral piece of health care coverage.
Published: February 4, 2021