Some Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, offer higher premiums and excellent coverage. Other plans offer lower premiums and usually require you to share the costs of health services not covered by Medicare.
Understanding the different plans, what each plan includes, and the key benefits are essential to deciding on the correct type of plan for your health needs and budget. Our local Medicare agents can help you choose the right plan if you live in North Carolina.
The 10 types of Medigap plans
In North Carolina, there are currently 10 different types of Medigap plans available. Blue Cross NC only offers A, G K and N for new members. The most popular plan is typically Medigap Plan G. This plan offers the most benefits with low out-of-pocket costs. Plans C and the former most popular F are no longer available to people new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
Other options include:
Medigap Plan A: offers basic benefits that help to cover the 20% Medicare doesn’t pay for outpatient treatments. You can purchase this type of plan from any insurance company as they must offer Plan A. In North Carolina, anyone under 64 with a disability is also eligible for Medigap Plan A.
Medigap Plan B: this plan covers the same as Plan A and the Medicare Part A hospital deductible. Medigap Plan B pays after Medicare has paid for your medical costs.
Medigap Plan C: this plan covers everything except for Medicare excess charges. It includes your deductibles and the 20% you would usually pay towards outpatient costs. It’s a popular choice for many people in North Carolina.
Medigap Plan D: this plan covers most items, though it doesn’t provide coverage for the Part B deductible or excess charges. Be aware that Medigap Plan D is entirely different from Medicare Part D, which provides coverage for prescription drugs.
Medigap Plan F: this plan provides coverage for everything you would usually be required to pay, so it’s a popular Medicare Supplement plan. You have zero out-of-pocket for covered services. There is also a High-Deductible Plan F that offers all the benefits of Plan F after reaching a deductible. It’s a good choice if you’re interested in a plan with lower monthly premiums.
Medigap Plan G: this plan is very similar to Plan F and very popular. It covers everything Plan F does but not the Part B deductible. Like Plan F, there is also a High-Deductible Plan G.
Medigap Plans K, L, and M: offer partial coverage for some benefits. Plan K covers 50% of most health services, while Plan L covers 75% of most medical items. Because these aren’t very popular, they’re not available via all insurance providers. If you’re interested in this type of plan, it can be worthwhile chatting to a health insurance agent to find out more information.
Medigap Plan N: this plan is a low premium plan, but it does require you to pay copays for hospital and doctor visits, and it doesn’t provide any coverage for Medicare excess. This option is becoming more popular due to its lower premium.
Comparing Medigap Plans
Every year, Medicare publishes information about the different Medicare Supplement plans, including a handy comparison chart to see details about premiums and coverage. This side-by-side comparison is a good reference if you’re unsure which plan is right for you. We also recommend chatting to one of our specialized Medicare agents who can do the research for you for independent advice.
Which Medigap Plans are the best?
Medigap Plan F and Plan G provide the highest level of coverage and offer the most significant benefits. Medigap Plan F is a popular choice with many Americans, as it covers every gap in Medicare. So if you are lucky enough to have Plan F before it was discontinued, you should probably keep it. Plan G is now the most popular. The main difference from Plan F is that it doesn’t provide coverage for your Medicare Part B deductible.
As noted above, some plans aren’t available to new Medicare beneficiaries, so you may be limited to specific plans if you’ve only become eligible for Medicare since January 1, 2020. Our local Medicare agents can talk you through your options to help you choose the right plan for you.
Other important things to consider
When comparing insurance plan prices, it’s important to remember that Medigap plans are standardized. While each insurance provider can set their rates, the medical benefits included in specific Medicare Supplement Plans are the same regardless of your provider. However, some providers will entice new members with add ons like gym membership discounts.
If you need help to compare Medigap plans or have questions about how to compare Medicare Supplement Plans, contact Health Plans of NC today to get impartial, free advice from North Carolina based experts.