Choosing the Best Medicare Supplement

The best Medicare supplement will help cover some of your out of pocket costs, including costs incurred when you reach the Medicare donut hole.

Medicare supplement plans are standardized as far as benefits go. It is the individual costs that can vary significantly between private insurance companies and also from state to state.

Which Medicare Supplement Plan Is Best For You?

The best Medicare supplement will help cover some of your out of pocket costs, including costs incurred when you reach the Medicare donut hole. Medicare supplement plans are standardized as far as benefits go. It is the individual costs that can vary significantly between private insurance companies and also from state to state.

The goal of all supplement plans offered is to pick up where standard Medicare ends, providing additional coverage for a variety of different situations and lowering your overall health care costs.

All medicare supplement plans are standardized. That means that a Plan C from one company must provide the same benefits as a Plan C from another company.

One important note that can stand repeating is this:

Medicare supplement plans sold after 2006 do not include prescription drug benefits.

It doesn't matter how much you pay or which company you choose. If you want prescription drug benefits in addition to supplemental insurance, you will have to enroll in Medicare Part D and pay the additional premium.

Choosing the right Medicare supplement for your unique situation depends on three basic issues:

  1. Which plan provides the benefit level you are seeking
  2. What plans are available in your area, and
  3. What is the costs of the plan you chose

Choosing the Best Medicare Supplement Plan

In order to do this, you should first look at your lifestyle, health and travel expectations.

Since each plan letter provides the same level of coverage from company to company, before you talk to any insurance agent, consider reviewing the plan options availabe and choosing which one you want.

Once you know that you want, for example, Plan L because it covers the combination of benefits you want, then you can call the different companies providing Medicare Supplemental Insurance in your area and compare rates.

Determining Plans in Your Area

Not every state offers the same insurance providers, although all states must offer at least one company that provides a Medicare supplement plan.

The best way to determine which of the best Medicare supplements are available in your area is to google "your state + Medicare supplement plans". That should lead you to a state sponsored website that will list companies providing services in your area.

Another option is to go to Medicare.gov and enter your zip code and health status. That should also take you to a page that lists the plans available in your state.

In my home state of Washington, there are 15 different companies that provide at least one of the Medicare supplemental plans. The number of companies and the companies themselves will vary from state to state.

Once you have determined which plan is best for you and which plans are available in your area, than you can compare premium prices to make sure you are receiving the best Medicare supplement for your money.

Your insurance premium for your Medicare supplement plan is not static. It tends to rise every year with inflation and with claims filed with your particular company.

You can change your Medicare supplement plan during the open enrollment period each year between October 15 and December 7th. Your new plan will go into effect January 1 of the following year.

Because the rules change so often, please make sure you speak to a Medicare specialist or your agent, on both the previous plan and your proposed new plan, to ensure that you will not be in a situation where you will not be receiving benefits.


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Benefits

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Go to AARP Medicare Supplement

Go to Medicare Donut Hole

Go to Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement