As you approach retirement, it’s essential to consider your healthcare needs and plan for the costs that come with them. Medicare provides health insurance coverage for seniors but doesn’t cover all medical expenses. That’s where Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, come in. AARP Medicare supplement plans are popular options for seniors looking to fill the gaps in their Medicare coverage.
WHAT ARE MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLANS-
Private insurance companies sell Medicare supplement plans to help pay for some of the costs that Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover. These costs may include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are ten standardized Medigap plans, each identified by a letter (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N). Each plan offers a different combination of benefits, with Plan F being the most comprehensive.
Medicare supplement plans do not cover prescription drug costs, but you can purchase a standalone Medicare Part D plan to cover prescription medications.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE AARP MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN
AARP Medicare supplement plans are available to individuals who are 65 years old or older and enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. You must also live in the service area of the insurance company offering the plan.
You can enroll in a Medigap plan during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. This six-month period is the best time to enroll, as insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or charge you more based on your health status. If you miss this enrollment period, you may be subject to medical underwriting, which could result in higher premiums or denial of coverage.
WHAT BENEFITS DOES THE AARP MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN COVER?
AARP offers several Medicare supplement plans, including Plans A, B, F, G, and N. Each plan covers a different set of benefits, but all plans cover the following:
Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
Blood (first 3 pints)
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
Part A deductible
Part B deductible (for Plans C and F only)
Part B excess charges (for Plans F and G only)
Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)
Plan F is the most comprehensive plan and covers all of the above benefits. Plan G is similar to Plan F but does not cover the Part B deductible. Plan N is a more cost-effective option that requires copayments for certain services.
HOW MUCH DOES THE AARP MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN COST?
The cost of AARP Medicare supplement plans varies depending on the plan you choose, your age, your location, and your health status. Premiums may also increase over time due to inflation and other factors.
Insurance companies use three methods to determine premiums for Medigap plans:
Community-rated: Everyone pays the same premium regardless of age or health status
Issue-age-rated: Premiums are based on your age when you first enroll in the plan and do not increase due to age
Attained-age-rated: Premiums increase as you get older
It’s important to shop around and compare prices from different insurance companies to find the best deal. AARP offers discounts for members, so it may be worth considering if you are already an AARP member.
AARP Medicare supplement plans can provide valuable coverage for seniors who need help paying for medical expenses that are not covered by Medicare. However, it’s important to carefully consider your options and compare prices from different insurance companies to ensure you get the perfect analysis.