Medigap Plans M & N versus Medicare Advantage Plans

Due to the rising costs of Medicare Advantage Plan awards and the growing number of physicians who choose not to participate, Medicare supplement plans M & N offers a number of cost-sharing features to reduce premiums for both policies compared to policies like Medicare Supplement Plan F or Plan G. Medicare supplement plans have certain “Guaranteed Issuance” periods that allow people to apply for a plan without denying coverage, excluding pre-existing conditions or charging more for any health condition. These Guaranteed Issue (GI) rights have a federal mandate from the Medicare and Medicaid Service Centers and apply to all Medicare registrants who are in one of these specific situations. GI rights usually occur when current health care coverage is changing in a certain way or if you are unintentionally losing your coverage. Specific insurance companies can create their own IG situations, and they do so; however, there are seven federally prescribed IG situations that all Medicare supplement insurance companies must follow. If you are in one of these periods, you can apply for a Medicare Supplemental Guarantee based plan.

It is important to keep in mind that a subscription is not required if you apply for coverage within 6 months after age 65 or if you are enrolling in Medicare Part B, whichever comes later. Not all insurance companies offer the 10 plans. Plan F covers Part A and B deductibles, as well as the 20% co-insurance difference left by Medicare. For the person who wants to have all medical appointments, hospital and other exams and clinically necessary expenses fully covered, a Medigap plan would be the best option. Most insurers offer age-based plans, and your medical signature must be approved for a plan unless you submit an application during an open application period or a warranty period. The all new Medicare M Plan provides unique cost-sharing alternatives which are attractive particularly to Medicare recipients who are relatively healthy. Plan M provides 50% of the Medicare Part A deductible, which is $1,100 per benefit period in 2010. For example, if you are admitted to the hospital and have a Medigap M plan, you must pay half of the $1100, or $550 deductible. Current rules still apply to the deductible of Medicare Part A, in the sense that if you enroll and you depart for up to 60 days or more you will have to return within the calendar year, and you have to pay for this deductible once more.