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Best Medicare Supplement Plans for 2019

MedicareSigning up for one of the Medicare Supplement plans for 2019 may make it easier to manage your healthcare expenses. Supplemental plans are designed to fill the gaps left by Original Medicare, they are often referred to as Medigap plans.

Depending on which Medicare Supplement plan for 2019 you select, signing up for Medigap could give you the freedom to elevate your medical care in many ways, including:

  • Seek care from more qualified specialists
  • Schedule doctor visits without worrying about Medicare excess charges and copayments
  • Select medical care providers without location restrictions
  • Receive emergency medical care while traveling nationwide or abroad
  • Manage chronic or complex medical conditions with fewer out-of-pocket expenses

Since new federal regulations are set to change the landscape of the Medicare system in 2020, the decisions that you make in 2019 could impact the quality of your medical care for years to come.

The process of selecting the best Medicare Supplement plan for 2019 starts with our online rate comparison tool. We can help you compare rates for the best Medigap plans, and our Medicare Specialists are one call away if you need further guidance.

Perks of Medicare Supplement Plans for 2019Medicare Supplement Plans 2019

More than 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries subscribe to Medicare Supplement plans. When you narrow the field to non-institutionalized beneficiaries who are not covered by employer medical benefits or private insurance, nearly 50 percent of beneficiaries now carry Medigap policies. Many of those with employer insurance would sign up for a Medigap policy if they lost their employer benefits.

Why are these plans so popular? Each person has their reasons, but here are some of the most significant benefits.

National Network Freedom

While some Medicare Advantage plans restrict you to doctors within a network, there are no networks for Medicare Supplement plans for 2019. You have the freedom to see any medical professional accepting Medicare. This includes doctors, specialists, and hospitals in any state.

Freedom to Travel

If you want to see the country or even the world, your Medigap policy will cover your medical needs while you’re away from home. Some policies also offer coverage in foreign countries.

Doctor Preferred

More than 95 percent of doctors in the United States are willing to accept Medicare as payment in 2015. Many doctors and hospitals prefer patients covered by Medicare Supplement plans because they realize that those patients are less stressed over excess charges, copayments, and coinsurance.

No Referrals Required

While your Original Medicare coverage may require a referral for some services, you will never have to worry about referrals to use your Supplemental benefits

Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plan for 2019

Medicare Supplement plans are organized by letters, and there are currently 10 plans on the market. Not all insurance companies offer all 10 plans, and the offerings can vary by state and zip code.

According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, approximately 60 percent of Medicare Supplement plan participants chose Medicare Plan F in 2016. Medicare Plan N was the second most popular option with more than 10 percent of Medigap participants enrolled.

To help you understand the difference between the most popular Medicare Supplement plans for 2019, let’s take a closer look at the top three plans: F, G, and N.

Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan F for 2019Medicare Supplement Plan F 2019

Plan F provides the most comprehensive coverage and should leave you with no out-of-pocket expenses. Besides Medicare Part C, this is the only plan that will cover your Part B deductible in addition to all copayments and coinsurance charges. It will also pick up all Part B excess charges, so you can visit doctors without questioning whether they have opted for Medicare pricing or not. If they charge more than Medicare is willing to pay, your Plan F coverage will pick up the excess.

Here’s a quick look at the benefits offered by a Medicare Plan F policy:

  • Parts A and B deductibles
  • Up to 365 days of additional hospital care (after Part A coverage is exhausted)
  • Part A copayments/coinsurance for hospice care
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance
  • Part B excess charges
  • Up to three pints of blood annually
  • Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care
  • 80% of emergency care in a foreign country (up to plan limits)

Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan G for 2019Medicare Supplement Plan G 2019

According to the 2017 CSG Actuarial report, enrollment in Medicare Plan G and Medicare Plan N has grown from approximately eight percent of Medigap participants in 2010 to roughly 32 percent of participants in 2016. A large percentage of those participants are enrolled in Plan G policies, making this the fastest-growing plan. For new Medicare beneficiaries unable to enroll in Plan F come 2020, Plan G is likely to take over as the most popular Medicare Supplement plan for 2019.

Medicare Supplement Plan G offers all of the benefits listed above for Plan F except for the Part B deductible. If the Plan G rates are low enough, you may save money by going with this policy and paying your Part B deductible out of pocket.

Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan N for 2019

Enrollment in Medicare Supplement Plan N is accelerating, but it’s still trailing enrollment in Medicare Plan G. The big attraction for Plan N is lower premium rates.

The following coverage is provided for Plan N subscribers: Medicare Supplement Plan N 2019

  • Part A deductible
  • Up to 365 days of additional hospital care (after Part A coverage is exhausted)
  • Part A copayments/coinsurance for hospice care
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance/copayments (limited, see below)
  • Up to three pints of blood annually
  • Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care
  • 80% of emergency care in a foreign country (up to plan limits)

If you compare this list of benefits to the coverage offered to Plan F subscribers, you see why the premiums are lower for Plan N. This plan requires you to pay your Part B deductible plus all Part B excess charges out of pocket.

While Plan F covers your Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments completely, Plan N requires you to pay a small copay for doctor visits and emergency room visits that don’t end in hospitalization. These copayments are standardized for all Medicare Supplement plans for 2019, so you will pay the same amount regardless of which insurance company you select.

In 2017, participants paid $20 when visiting a doctor’s office and up to $50 for ER visits. That is expected to remain the same for 2019.

Plan N will rank as a favorite Medicare Supplement plan for 2019, but it isn’t the best option if you expect to visit the doctor or emergency room often. Try to estimate how much you might pay in copayments and excess charges over the year plus the amount of your Part B deductible.

Ways to Save On Your Medicare Supplement Plan for 2019

  • Ask about household discounts and other special programs offered by select insurance companies.
  • Apply during your initial open enrollment period if you aren’t likely to qualify for a special guaranteed enrollment period later in life. This sounds so simple, but it’s one of the most effective ways to save money on Medicare expenses. Once this period passes, you’re likely to pay a higher rate.
  • Check into the Medicare Extra Help program to see if you qualify for discounts on prescription medications.

Are you ready to find the most affordable rates for Medicare Supplement plans for 2019? Use our online quote comparison tool to see rates from the most reputable companies offering supplemental plans. If you need additional guidance, feel free to call one of our Medicare professionals. We can even help you apply over the phone.

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