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All About Medicare Supplement Plans

Supplemental plans cover things that Medicare does not. You are not required to have supplemental or Medigap plans, but they may make it easier to manage your health costs. What are Medicare Supplement Plans?

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These plans are sold by private insurers. They help pay for things that Medicare doesn’t pay like coinsurance payments, copayments, and deductibles. They can cover your costs of medical expenses when you travel. If you and your partner enjoy traveling during your retirement, you may find a supplemental plan provides you with an extra layer of protection.

You cannot purchase these plans as stand-alone insurance plans. You have to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
These plans are different from plans sold as Advantage Plans. These plans give you ways to get additional benefits to Medicare while the supplemental or Medigap plans provide you with additional coverage to your existing Medicare coverage.

While you can get these plans to help assist you and your partner through your retirement years, a Medigap policy covers one individual. So, if you and your partner want coverage, you both have to purchase your own plans.

These plans essentially pay whatever share of costs Medicare doesn’t cover. You may already know that it pays for 80 percent of hospital and doctor visits. The 20 percent remaining is up to you to pay. If that sounds like an expense you cannot bear, invest in Medigap plans. They pay the remainder as long as you pay your premiums.

You can purchase these plans from any private insurance company you like. If you want prescription drug plans, ask about Medicare Part D. These are also sold by private health insurers. To find out more or to buy a plan, contact your health insurance agent. Or, research plans online to compare prices and select a plan right for you.

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