Medigap Monday: What is a Zero Premium Supplement Plan
There is no such thing as a “zero premium” Medicare Supplement plan. If you see any plans advertised as being “zero premium” those are not Medicare Supplements but Medicare Advantage plans, and they are not “zero premium”. How they should be advertised is “no additional premium” plan. The way a Medicare Advantage plan works is the premium you would pay to your Medicare Part B, is now paid to a private insurance carrier instead of Medicare. You are still paying for those plans. It is important when choosing between these two plans that you know the differences.
Summary of a Medicare Advantage Plan:
- A Private Company provides a health plan that you will use instead of using your traditional Medicare.
- Low monthly premium
- Requires you to pay some bills when you use the Plan. You will have copays, co-insurance and sometimes a deductible.
- You have to go to certain Doctors, Hospitals and other Providers. (HMO / PPO)
- Has a max out of pocket for your protection. Once you have paid a certain amount, the plan will pay the rest of your healthcare cost. For 2019, most HMO’s are around $4,000.00 and the PPO Plans are around $6,700.00.
In most counties, the Medicare Advantage Plans have been losing funding over the past few years. This has had 2 major negative consequences:
- The Medicare Advantage Plans have cut benefits and/or increased the out of pocket requirements.
- Less Doctors, Hospitals and Providers are accepting the Plans.
Even with these consequences, a Medicare Advantage Plan offers coverage that is usually as good as most group plans when people were working.
Summary of a Medicare Supplement Plan:
- Medicare (A and B) are your primary insurance and the Supplement Plan pays the bills that Medicare would normally make you pay.
- You can go to any Doctor, Hospital, or Provider in the Country that accepts Medicare.
- You will very rarely have a healthcare cost other than your monthly premium. (My favorite Supplement Plan is the Plan G, once you pay the first $185.00 of your medical bills, you are done for the rest of the year)
- Does have a higher monthly premium than a Medicare Advantage Plan. A Supplement is usually between $80.00 and $120.00 per month.
If you can afford the extra premium per month, you will love having a Medicare Supplement Plan. Medicare and a Medicare Supplement will provide you better healthcare than you have ever had before. If you choose the Medicare Supplement Plan G (my favorite plan), you will not have any hospital bills. Also, once you have paid the $185.00 annual deductible, you will have no more Doctor or medical bills either.
We have seen a lot of Companies starting to offer Medicare Supplement Plans, more than ever before. This is great for the consumer, as this has created more competition than ever. The competition is requiring the Medicare Supplement Companies to keep their monthly premiums lower, otherwise they risk losing their clients to a different Carrier.
If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its coverage or plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:
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