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3 Things You May Not Know About Medicare Supplements

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Most people you talk to may have misconceptions or questions regarding Medicare and Medicare Supplements. Some of these questions, such as when are the annual enrollment periods, are quickly answered with a quick internet search. But other answers may clarify some of the confusion surrounding Medicare Supplements. Here are a few questions and answers that will try to do just that. 

1. Medicare Uses Many Different Names

One of the most confusing things related to Medicare is the multiple names used by various agencies. For example, 

  • Medicare Supplements are also known as Medigap Insurance Policies
  • Medicare Parts A and B are called Original Medicare
  • Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage
  • Medicare Part D is also Medicare Rx Coverage

Know that depending on what materials you read, they may flip back and forth between both names of whatever they are talking about. 

2. Medicare Does Not Pay 100% of Your Insurance Costs

Many seniors believe that the plan will pay 100% of their medical costs once they qualify for Medicare. Unfortunately, this is not true. Even if you have both Medicare Part A and Part B, your medical costs are still only covered at 80%.

In addition to your coinsurance, there is a standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B of $164.90 and a Part B annual deductible of $233. Medicare Supplements can help offset the cost left from your Part A and Part B, except for your yearly deductible. Medicare supplements will pay for your copayments and coinsurance. 

3. You May Not Have Insurance Coverage Outside the Country

You may assume that since you have Medicare coverage, you have it when you travel. This assumption may not be accurate if your travels are outside the country. Medicare covers you in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. But there are three exceptions where you may have some coverage. These include:

  • When you become sick in the U.S. but a foreign hospital is closer. 
  • When you live in a border state, and a foreign hospital is your closest hospital.
  • When you travel through Canada going to or coming from Alaska headed to another state and have a medical emergency and a Canadian hospital is closest.

Medicare supplement plans offer additional emergency health coverage when you travel outside the country if the emergency happens within the first 60 days of your trip. You can find this coverage in Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N. 

Contact a local Medicare enrollment center to learn more.