While Original Medicare was designed to pay for most medical costs, it was never intended to pay for all of them. The gaps in coverage leave the beneficiary to pay out of his or her own pocket for costs like hospital deductibles, hospital and service copays and coinsurance, and excess charges. Private companies offer Medicare Supplement insurance to fill in these gaps and lessen or eliminate the out of pocket financial risk to Medicare beneficiaries.

Medicare Supplements are highly regulated insurance products. In most states, including Illinois, Medicare Supplements are standardized and offered by lettered plans A-N. There is also a high deductible option for Plan F and Medicare Select plans. Medicare Select plans are less expensive because they require you to use the network of providers for that specific Medicare Select plan. The regular standardized Medicare Supplements (not Medicare Select) will work with any medical facility that accepts Medicare.

Since the plans are standardized, each company offering a certain lettered plan will include exactly the same benefits in that plan as any other company offering the same plan. For example, a Plan F is a Plan F is a Plan F. The benefits will be no different no matter what company you purchase your Plan F through.

Purchasing A Medigap Plan

The first step in purchasing a Medicare Supplement is to look at the benefits offered by the different standardized Medicare Supplements and decide which plan has the benefits that best meet your needs. After you have decided on a lettered Medicare Supplement plan, the next step is to find the companies that offer that plan in your state. Not all insurance companies offering Medicare Supplements sell all the lettered plans in every state.

Once you have found the companies that offer the plan you would like you should compare the premium rates charged by those companies. Even though the benefits are exactly the same for a given lettered plan, the cost varies widely among different insurers. The cheapest plan is not always the best buy. Due to age increases (for most plans), medical inflation, and changes in what Medicare pays for covered services and other factors, rates for Medicare Supplements do go up. It is important to research the companies offering Medicare Supplements for their history of rate increases, financial stability, and payment of claims. When searching for the right plan it's important to work with an agent who specializes in Medicare Supplements and can provide you with rates from several companies to ensure you get a plan that best fits your needs.

For more information on specific plans, check the following links below:

Take the Right Steps to Get the Best Coverage
Benefit Consultants - Midwest will guide you through the entire process of choosing the right supplement for you. We take our responsibility seriously to educate you about your options, evaluate available benefits, and shop for the best rates. Contact us to get started selecting the best plan for you or, simply fill out the form below and a licensed broker will contact you within 24 hours.

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