You may be wondering if having two Medicare Supplements are a good idea or not.
The fact is, you cannot have two active Medicare Supplement plans, and you wouldn’t want them if you could.
In this article, we’ll go over what a Medicare Supplement plan is, why you can’t have two, and why you won’t want more than one plan.
Table of Contents
What Is A Medicare Supplement?
Medicare Supplements are private insurance plans that fills in most of the gaps, or “supplements”, original Medicare. Original Medicare consists of:
- Part A: Hospital Care
- Part B: Medical Care
Medicare Supplements are designated by their “Plan Letter.” Below you’ll find a graphic that shows you the most common Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plans available.
There one thing you need to remember when it comes to Medicare Supplements and choosing/changing Medicare Supplement companies.
Medicare Supplement plans are standardized
This comes from Medicare. So you might be wondering, what does “standardized” mean?
- Medigap plan letters offer the same basic benefits, regardless of the insurance company (Plan F= Plan F.)
- Medicare Supplement Plans do not have networks, so you can keep your provider. (There’s only 1 rare instance, called Medicare Select.)
- Medicare Supplements pay claims to your doctor and hospitals the exact same way.
Since we're talking about cost of a Medicare Supplement plan... You can get a Free, INSTANT Medicare Supplement Cost Comparison Quote by filling out the form to your RIGHT ---> if on Desktop or hit the "Request Quote" button above if mobile.
What Does A Medicare Supplement Cover?
As we noted above, Medicare Supplements cover gaps in Medicare parts A and B. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B co-insurance (the percentage you’re responsible)
- Your outpatient prescriptions
- Routine hearing, vision, and dental services (not associated with another medical condition.)
- Long-term care
The primary difference between Medicare Supplement letters is to what degree they offer coverage. I included a graphic in the previous section of this article that laid out the most common plans.
You can find what level of coverage you receive in each plan.
Pro's Of A Medicare Supplement
“There are a lot of great pro’s to a Medicare Supplement:
Stability of out of pocket costs: Medigap plans tell you exactly what’s covered and what you’re responsible for out of pocket. For example, Plan G covers all costs associated with Part A and B that you’re responsible for EXCEPT the Part B deductible.
No Networks: Any doctor that accepts Medicare patients will be paid by Medicare, anywhere in the United States. For example, lets say that you are diagnosed with a disease and want to see a specific provider on the other side of the country. As long as they accept Medicare patients, you’re covered.
Minimal Prior Authorizations Required: There are minimal prior-authorizations or referrals to see specialists or to receive certain treatments. Only certain tests or durable medical equipment require a prior authorization. Seeing specialists, or getting coverage out of state does not require a prior authorizations.
Minimal Changes In Coverage: The largest change that you notice year to year is the cost of the Part B deductible if you’re on Plan D, G, or N. Otherwise, coverage is the same year over year.
Con's Of A Medicare Supplement?
While you get a lot of benefits from Medicare Supplement plans, there are some downfalls:
Cost: Medicare Supplements can be expensive, but they generally cover more in depth services that reduce out of pocket costs. Furthermore, you can expect Medicare Supplement plans to increase in cost as you age.
Qualifying For A New Plan: In the majority of states, but especially in Michigan, you can only avoid medical underwriting during your initial enrollment period (when you turn 65) or if you meet a rare Special Enrollment Period criteria. This means that you can be denied a Medicare Supplement if you fall outside of these time periods.
Medical underwriting can be a scary thought. However, most conditions that are controlled (even with a defined stability period) can be covered. This includes conditions like AFIB, Diabetes, Arthritis, or certain heart conditions.
Underwriting criteria differs between insurance companies. While you might be a denial with one, another might approve you.
Why Can't I have Two Medicare Supplements?
In short, you can’t have two Medicare Supplements because you would have duplicate coverage. For example, let’s say you have a Plan G and a Plan N.
Plan N has a co-pay for doctor visits after you meet your Medicare Part B deductible. Plan G doesn’t. The Plan G coverage would supersede Plan N and would pay the co-pay for your office visit.
It’s essentially over-coverage to cover two Medicare Supplements. You don’t get the money left over.
Furthermore, Medicare bills the Medicare Supplement company, not the doctor. You can see below how your doctor bills are paid under original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement.
Your Medigap plan is attached to your Medicare ID number. This would cause billing issues with Medicare.
Why Wouldn't I Want Two Medicare Supplements?
Frankly, it’d be a waste of money to carry two Medicare Supplements. You could purchase the higher coverage plan for one price and get all of the benefits that are associated with the lower coverage plan.
This is because Medicare Supplement plans build on one another. Using the example above with Plan G and N. With Plan G, you get all the benefits already associated with Plan N, and some additional benefits by not having a co-pay when you go to the doctor.
In today’s article we explored why you cannot and wouldn’t want two Medicare Supplements. If you’ve enjoyed this article, I’d love to share it on your favorite social media networks below.
I’d also love to remind you that you can get a FREE, INSTANT Medicare Supplement comparison report (without talking to an insurance agent) by filling out the “request a quote” form.
Finally, if you’d like to learn about more tips and tricks for Medicare and Private Insurance, check out my free E-book!
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