If you’re in Medicare, or soon to enter, it’s important to understand how the out of pocket costs of Parts A and B can impact you, and what you can do to limit them. One of the most popular options for dealing with these costs is Medicare Supplement Insurance. To see how Medicare Supplement Plans in Connecticut can help you save money, read on.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is a kind of health insurance coverage offered by private insurance companies. These policies are designed to do only one thing: pay expenses that Original Medicare won’t pay. Since Medicare Supplement plans pay only what Original Medicare won’t, it’s important to review the out of pocket costs under Parts A and B. When you use your Medicare benefits, you can expect to pay these costs:
All of these costs can add up over the course of a year. Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t come with any kind of yearly cap on your spending. You face a potentially unlimited liability for the cost of care under Original Medicare in any given year. Since these costs can be so large as to be financially ruinous, many people turn to Medicare Supplement Insurance to fill in these gaps. For this reason, many people call this Medigap coverage.
Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plans work by providing coverage for the costs you’re normally expected to pay. This coverage is provided by standardized plans. The plans are standardized across 47 of the U.S. states, including Connecticut. There are a total of 11 standardized Medigap plans to choose from; you can only be enrolled in one plan at a time. Each one of the 11 standardized plans covers a slightly different combination of the costs for using your Medicare coverage. The 11 standardized Medigap plans are known by letter; Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. There are also High Deductible versions of Plans F and G. One thing to note is that Plans C, F, and High Deductible F are not available to anyone who becomes Medicare eligible after December 31, 2019. Since each one of the standardized plans offers a different coverage, you can choose the level of coverage you want. The richer the benefits, the more expensive the monthly premium will be, so this also lets you find a plan that meets not only your health needs, but also your budget. When you visit the doctor, or have work done at a medical facility, you’ll present both your Original Medicare card and your Medigap plan card. Your provider will bill Original Medicare according to the services received (i.e. Part A or Part B). Medicare will pay the amounts they are obligated to. In the case of Part B services or procedures, they’ll pay the first 80%. Your provider will also bill your Medigap plan for the remainder of the Medicare-approved cost. Your Medigap plan will then pay the amounts that they’re obligated to. In the case of Part B services, they’ll pay the remaining 20%. In this case, you’d pay little or nothing. You will continue like this all year; your out of pocket costs will be minimal for the year, which is the value of Medigap coverage.
Even though there are 11 options for coverage, they’re not equally used. The most commonly used plans are Plans G, N, and A. We’ll review these plans below.
Plan G is the most comprehensive plan, meaning that it pays the most benefits, of all the plans available to people who become eligible for Medicare after December 31, 2019. Plan G covers 100% of all the gaps in Medicare except for the Part B deductible. Each year, you’ll have to meet the Part B deductible ($233 for 2022) before Plan G begins covering your costs. After you’ve paid that small amount, Plan G covers all other Medicare-approved costs. Plan G will also help you with emergency coverage when you’re traveling internationally.
Plan N is similar to Plan G. It also covers you outside the United States. With Plan N, you’ll also have to pay the Part B deductible before the plan starts paying Part B benefits. A unique feature of Plan N is that you’ll also pay a small co-payment (not more than $20) for office visits, and up to $50 for emergency room visits. Aside from those small amounts, Plan N covers your 20% Part B cost sharing. The other gap that Plan N offers no coverage for is Part B excess charges. However, since most providers don’t charge these fees, you’re unlikely to encounter them.
Plan A is the least comprehensive Medigap plan available; because of this, it’s usually the least expensive. Plan A will cover the following costs:
Plan A leaves all other gaps uncovered; you’re responsible for the full cost unpaid by Original Medicare. Plan A doesn’t cover you outside of the country.
To get Medicare Supplement Plans in Connecticut, you have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Original Medicare. In Connecticut, there is no minimum age requirement to get Medicare Supplement Insurance, which is an important benefit because not all States require insurance companies to offer Medigap to people under 65 years of age.
Yes. You can do this during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), which runs from October 15th to December 7th.
Every Medicare Supplement plan with the same plan letter (F, G, etc) offers precisely the same benefits to you, but prices vary widely from one insurer to another. It’s in your best interest to have access to as many plans by as many insurers as possible when you make your Medicare Supplement plan.
That’s where Medicare Consumer comes in. When you speak with our experts you get access to plans from dozens of different insurers. They’ll guide you to the right plan for you at the best possible rate.
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Participating sales agencies do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800–MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.
Participating sales agencies represent Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO, PFFS, and PDP]organizations that are contracted with Medicare. Enrollment depends on the plan’s contract renewal.
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