Congress has passed a new law that has a lot to do with the Medicare part B deductible. If you still haven´t heard about it, you might want to keep reading, as this new law might start affecting your health care insurance too!
Medicare Part B Deductible
If you are enrolled to a Medicare supplement plan that doesn´t cover the Medicare part B deductible, then you don´t have to worry. There will be no changes affecting you. The changes made will affect those, who are enrolled to Medicare supplement plans that cover for this expense. Why? Because the new law forbids health insurance companies to sell supplement plans that cover the part B deductible.
This deductible is an annual amount of 183$. The reason why health insurance companies aren´t allowed to offer plans covering them, is due to the belief that this will help prevent people from overuse of the health system. If a supplement plan covers for all costs and the patient only needs to pay their premium rate, they might end up visiting the doctor´s office for small accidents, such as small cuts, or conditions that can also be healed at home, such as a harmless cold. With a cold, most know many home remedies to fight it and usually a cold goes away on its own after a couple of days, or up to a week. It is not really necessary to visit the doctor´s office as soon as we have a sore throat or start coughing a few times a day. It is exactly these cases that the law is trying to prevent. If the patients need to pay at least some amount, then they won´t visit the doctor´s office as often!
Although this law has been passed, there were many who didn´t agree with it. Medicare supplement plans who covered (and still cover) the Medicare part B deductible, are also more expensive. So if a patient is already paying the most for a supplement plan, why shouldn´t he be free to make use of it and visit a professional whenever they want to?
All in all, this new law is coming and every health insurance company as well as their members will need to adjust to it. Two Medicare supplement plans will be affected: the Medicare supplement plan F and the Medicare supplement plan C. Both of these cover for the 183$ deductible, which is why starting January 2020, they will no longer be available for new members. The already existing members will be able to continue their use of these plans and their benefits. So, if you really wanted to be a part of the supplement plan F or C, make sure to enroll before the 1st of January, 2020. A good alternative to these plans is the Medicare supplement plan G. This one is perfect, because it covers all the expenses, apart for the Medicare part B deductible and is therefore not affected by the new law!
If you have needed health care services in the past time, you might have had to find out the hard way that your Medicare original part A and part B won´t cover for all expenses. In fact, in most cases you will be left paying some type of a coinsurance amount, copayment or deductible. Especially if you are planning on travelling further than 6 hours from US coast, it will not insure you and you will need to pay for the full amount of the health care services you might need. If so, the time has come to discover the Medicare supplement plan M and how you can benefit of it!
It covers for several expenses
The 2019 Medicare supplement plan will cover for the expenses you would otherwise need to pay for out of your own pocket. In these expenses, the following are included:
Expenses for the first three pints of blood (Medicare original cover for any pints of blood required after that)
Expenses for skilled nursing facility coinsurance
Expenses for part A hospice care coinsurance and copayment
Expenses for Medicare part B coinsurance and copayment
Expenses for Medicare coinsurance and hospital costs of Medicare part A
Expenses of the Medicare part A deductibles are covered up to 50%
The Medicare part A deductible which is covered up to 50% is an amount that the patient would need to pay each time they get attended to a hospital within a year.
What it doesn´t cover
There are two expenses, that aren´t covered by the Medicare supplement plan. There are plans out there who cover for these as well and if you find them to be important, you can look at other plans such as the supplement plan F. The Medicare supplement plan M will not cover for the Medicare part B deductible, which is currently 183$ a year. It also won´t cover for any excess charges of Medicare part B.
When choosing this plan, you should always compare the premium rate of different health insurance companies. Especially if you are not enrolling within the initial enrollment period, some companies might look at your current health state and previous conditions. Based upon these, your premium rate might be higher or lower. The initial enrollment period is a period of time, in which the health insurance companies aren´t allowed to look at your medical record for the purpose of basing your premium rate cost on this information. During this time, the health insurance company isn´t allowed to deny you from enrolling to the Medicare supplement plan M, which is why this is considered to be the best period to enroll.
All in all, it is a supplement plan that offers many benefits you can take advantage from. Once you know which expenses are covered, you will be able to go to the doctor´s office and require for the health care services you feel to be necessary, without having to worry about paying for the expenses out of your own pocket.
The Medicare supplement plans A and B are one of the two first available Medicare supplement plans. They don´t cover for as many expenses as other plans do, but are therefore less expensive. If you´re on Medicare part A or B and start noticing, that you´re paying more than you can afford out of your own pocket, you might be in the need to get additional health care services. A supplement plan can not only save you money in the long run, it can also help you control your expenses. It is better if you know how much you need to set aside for your premium rate, than to get unexpected high bills after a doctor´s visit.
If you´re not willing or able to pay high premium rates, you might want to check out the first two available Medicare supplement plans, A and B.
Medicare supplement plan A
The Medicare supplement plan A covers four basic benefits up to 100%. These benefits include:
Expenses for Medicare part A coinsurance for inpatient hospital care which extend to up to 365 days after Medicare part A or B no longer pay for the expenses.
Expenses for Medicare part B copayment and coinsurance
Expenses for the first three pints of blood
Expenses for Medicare part A coinsurance or copayments due to hospice care
The Medicare supplement plan A won´t cover for these expenses:
Expenses for the co-insurance for skilled nursing facility care
Expenses for the Medicare part A deductibles
Expenses for the Medicare part B deductibles
Expenses for the Medicare part B excess charges
Expenses for travel emergency care
Medicare supplement plan B
The Medicare supplement plan B covers for the following expenses:
Expenses for Medicare part B copayments and coinsurance
Expenses for the first three pints of blood
Expenses for the Medicare part A deductible
Expenses for the coinsurance and copayments for hospice care due to Medicare part A
Expenses for the coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care
Expenses for travel emergency care
After comparing what both these plans offer and what they don´t offer, it will be easier to decide if one of them works with your personal needs and the frequency of your health care visits.
It is important to remember that both these Medicare supplement plans, as well as all other Medicare supplement plans, will only be available to you if you already have Medicare part A or Medicare part B.
While Medicare part A and B are provided by Social Security directly, Medicare supplement plans are only offered by private health insurance companies. As these companies are private, they also have the right to determine how much the premium rate will cost. It is therefore recommended to compare the price for the premium rates, as it might cost more from company to company. The benefits will remain the same, no matter which company you use.