When it comes to Medicare supplement plans, some are so similar to one another, that you don´t really know which one of them to choose from, as they both offer pretty much the same thing. The Medicare supplement plan D offers the same benefits as the Medicare supplement plan L, but there is a catch!
What both cover
Both Medicare supplement plan D, as well as Medicare supplement plan L, will cover for the expenses for:
- Health insurance for travelers, who are outside the U.S
- Medicare part A deductible
- Hospice care coinsurance and copayments, for those who are part of Medicare part A
- The first three pints of blood (per year)
- Copayments and coinsurance of Medicare part B
- Hospital costs and copayments of Medicare part A
The catch is, that while Medicare supplement plan D covers these expenses fully, the Medicare supplement plan L has a limited coverage amount. These costs will only be covered up to a 75% by the Medicare supplement plan L:
- Expenses for the first three pints of blood
- Part B co-insurance expenses
- Hospice co-insurance expenses
- Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility
- Part A deductible expenses
As this Medicare supplement plan covers only 75 % of the expenses, the premium rate for it will cost less too. Upon making a decision, you need to make sure to compare these benefits to your own personal needs. If you´re completely satisfied with having to pay 25% of the bill, but therefore less for premium rates every month, than a supplement plan L will be more than enough for you! If, however, you have frequent visits to health care providers, going the full insurance way might save you money in the long run. Instead of having to pay 25% each time you visit the doctor´s office, you can rather pay a higher premium rate each month, but therefore know that this will also be the only expense you will need to pay for.
Medicare supplement plans are all available only to those who are enrolled to Medicare part A or B first. So, whether you choose the Medicare supplement plan D or the Medicare supplement plan L, make sure to enroll to Medicare part A or B first. Also, check when your open enrollment period is. If it is soon, you might just want to wait for when it comes, before enrolling to a Medicare supplement plan. During your open enrollment period the premium rates will be as low as they get and it is guaranteed you won´t get better offers than during this time. For those who don´t know when it is, the open enrollment period starts on the fay when you turn 65 and lasts for up to 6 months after the day of your birthday. Once this period is gone, premium rates will go higher and health insurance companies might even deny you enrollment, due to possible health conditions. This is something that is not allowed either during open enrollment.