Medicare Supplement Plans help seniors pay the out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare. Plans were designed to supplement your coverage. Individuals continue to receive Parts A and B with additional benefits. Some plans will pay your Part A and B costs, while others only partially. There are nine plans available in Illinois (A, B, C, F, G, K, L, and N).
The government standardized all plans. Requiring the same plans to include the same coverage regardless of the company that sells them. This makes it easy to compare the cost without keeping track of coverage.
If a current medical condition requires you to visit a doctor on a regular basis, research plans that pay the full Part B coinsurance or copayment. While it’s not always possible to know the level of healthcare you will need in the future, reviewing each plan’s specific coverage is important. If you will be traveling out of the country, there are plans that provide coverage for foreign travel.
Each plan offers different coverage and premiums that vary. It’s important to note the price of the plans between companies, due to they are not required to charge the same amount. You may be able to find the same plan at a lower price.
There are times outside of open enrollment when individuals may have a Guaranteed Issue Right, eligible without underwriting. If you chose to delay enrolling in Part B because of group coverage, your eligibility period will be delayed until you enroll in Part B. Instead of having six months, you only have 63 days.
Employer-provided health insurance coverage is ending.
Joined Part C when first eligible, but, within the first year, would like to return to Medicare.
Dropped a Medicare Supplement to join Part C for the first time and been in the plan for less than a year.
Previous policy or Part C ends through no fault of the individual.
Enrolled in Part C, but moved out of the network service area.
The best time to enroll is when you’re first eligible, during your open enrollment period. This six-month period of time starts when you are 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. During this time, insurance companies must sell all plans at the best available rate, even if you have a pre-existing condition. If you wait more than six months and miss your enrollment, you may not be able to obtain coverage. If you are accepted, the same plan could cost more.
If you miss your open enrollment or don’t have a Guaranteed Issue Right, you may be able to enroll during Annual Enrollment. Companies during this time are allowed to use underwriting as a deciding factor to determine whether to sell you a policy and how much it will cost.
If you realize that you’re paying for coverage you don’t need, or need more, changing plans may be a good option.