Medicare Supplement plans are standardized policies which are helpful to the customers in meeting the unmet expenses of the Original Medicare. Though these plans offer standardized features and benefits to the customers, there may be subtle differences in them being offered by different insurance companies. It is recommended to compare the Medicare Supplement plans before making the final purchase. Some of the aspects which need to be compared across plans and insurance service providers are as follows:
Network of Doctors and Hospitals
The Medicare Supplement plans allow the customers the freedom to choose their own doctors and hospitals. They can choose any hospital or doctors who accept the Medicare Supplement plans. In case of SELECT plans, the customers should carefully examine the access to doctors and hospitals under the specific plans. They can select the SELECT plans offering the most intensive network of healthcare service providers.
The Medicare Supplement plans provide standardized features and benefits to the customers across the 47 states. Standardized benefits also ensure that the plans are portable and the customers are entitled to the same benefits irrespective of the location where they choose to avail the health care services. The customers should verify with their insurance companies if the plans will provide them access to the standardized features across the 47 states. The three states- Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Minnesota provide slightly different standardized benefits.
In some cases, the doctors may charge more than the Medicare-approved amount. It is referred to as the excess charge over Medicare Part B. The customers should inquire from the insurance provider whether the Medicare Supplement plan will be meeting the excess charges over Part B. They should prefer the Medigap plan which meets the excess charges.
While the customers are generally not provided Medicare Supplement plan benefits with some plans when traveling abroad, some insurance plans may provide limited coverage for emergency care when the customers are traveling abroad. Since the other features of the Medigap plan are standardized, the customers can prefer the service providers which offer benefits during foreign travel.
Though the benefits and services offered under the Medigap policy are standardized, the premiums can be priced differently by various insurance companies. The insurance companies determine their own premium as they follow different pricing methodologies. The customers should inquire the premiums of the different Medicare Supplement plans from multiple companies and understand their pricing mechanisms before purchasing the policy.