Medicare is a federal program to help older Americans and some disabled Americans pay for the high cost of health care. However, Medicare was never intended to cover all your healthcare costs. So even if you’re covered by Medicare, you are still responsible for a large portion of your healthcare costs. That’s where a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Medicare Supplement Plan can help.
What Medicare Doesn’t Cover
Medicare does not cover all healthcare costs. Medicare coverage consists of:
Part A (which covers hospital and skilled nursing facility care), and;
Part B (which covers doctor bills and other medical expenses).
Even with Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, you’re responsible for some out-of-pocket expenses including:
Part A hospital deductible ($1,600)
Part B deductible ($226)
Copayments for hospital stays over 60 days
Care in a skilled nursing facility after 20 days
Twenty percent coinsurance for doctor bills and other medical expenses
Medicare supplement plans pay for additional expenses. By law, Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are standardized into twelve plans. That means Plan G from one company must include the same benefits as Plan G from another company. While the benefits must be the same, each company’s rates, reputation, membership features, and quality of service can vary. With Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, you don’t have to sacrifice comprehensive benefits or freedom of choice for affordability.
Guaranteed acceptance with no health questions asked
Freedom to choose any doctors or specialists
Coverage with domestic travel
Guaranteed renewability regardless of changes in your health
Coverage guaranteed to match Medicare’s cost increases year after year
Blue Extras Member Discount Program includes discounts on wellness products and services including vision, fitness clubs, weight management, complementary alternative medicine, hearing, and more.
Part A coinsurance plus coverage for 365 additional days after Medicare benefits end.
Part B coinsurance (generally 20% of Medicare-approved expenses), or in the case of hospital outpatient department services under a prospective payment system, applicable copayments.
First three pints of blood each year.
Of all available standardized plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans F* and Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan G* offer the most complete protection for uncovered Medicare Part B excess charges. These are the most popular plans because they also pay the Medicare Part A hospital deductible and copayments, skilled nursing facility copayment, and foreign travel emergency care.
Medicare Supplement Insurance High Deductible Plan F*
Features a $2700 annual deductible (2023) before plan benefits begin
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan N*
Features an office visit and emergency room copayment applicable to each visit
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan K* and Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan L*
Feature cost-sharing for covered services under Medicare Part A and Part B. Once your annual out-of-pocket expenses reach the required limit, the plan pays 100% of covered expenses for the remainder of the calendar year.
Medicare Supplement Plan F and High Deductible Plan F are only available to those individuals who turned 65 before January 1, 2020.
Part B Medical Excess
Part B Medical Excess covers charges from your provider that exceed Medicare-approved amounts. Only Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F, Medicare Supplement Insurance High Deductible Plan F, and Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan G cover these charges. For all other plans, you are responsible for paying excess charges. In no case can a provider charge more than 115% of the Medicare-approved amount.
Medicare pays the first 20 days of treatment in a skilled nursing facility, and an annually adjusted per diem for the 21st through 100th day. Plans with this benefit pay an additional annually adjusted per diem for the 21st through the 100th day.
In order to receive any skilled nursing facility benefits, you must meet Medicare’s requirements:
You were admitted to a hospital for at least three days;
You were admitted to a Medicare-approved skilled nursing facility within 30 days of leaving the hospital.
Foreign Travel Emergency
Medically necessary, foreign travel emergency care services begin during the first 60 days of each trip outside of the United States. All plans offering this benefit require you to pay a foreign travel emergency deductible and a percentage of costs after the deductible is met.
Preventive Care covers some annual physical and preventive tests and services administered or ordered by your doctor when not covered by Medicare.
Reduced Premium Medicare Select Option
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans F, G, K, L, and N Med-Select options offer the same solid benefits as the “standard” plans but cost less. You’ll save on premiums simply by agreeing to use any of the Med-Select participating hospitals for non-emergency elective admissions. If you do not use one of these hospitals for your non-emergency admissions, you pay the $1600 Part A deductible. Med-Select is not an HMO. With Med-Select, you are fully covered for emergency care at any hospital, and you can choose your own doctors and specialists.
Med-Select is available in specific geographic areas only; you must live within a 30-mile radius of Medicare Select hospitals.