Co-Editor's Blog

Unpacking Medicare Supplement: Part 3

Maggie PART 3 Medicare Supplement

Careful not to overwhelm herself with a deluge of information, Maggie sets aside the reading material before resuming. She rubs her temples and processes how all this impacts her life.

Maggie is planted at her dining room table with a swath of fact-filled papers making an arch across the wood. A Saturday afternoon sun gently pours shafts of light in through a corner window. Maggie turns to glance outside at her lawn, its unmown, yet strong grass having grown so high it appears to valiantly guard the home it sits in front of.

Maggie sighs faintly and takes in the strangely comforting view, witnessing its burst of life. After a few minutes of relaxation and contemplation, Maggie begins studying Medicare SELECT.

It turns out Medicare SELECT is a type of Medigap policy sold in some states that require you to use hospitals, and in some instances, physicians within its network, to be eligible for full insurance benefits with an emergency being an exception.

Medicare SELECT can be offered as any of the standardized Medigap plans. Given the limitations it can present, these types of policies usually cost less. If you do not use a Medicare SELECT hospital or doctor for non-emergency services, you’ll be required to pay some or all of what Medicare doesn’t pay.

You sign up for Medicare SELECT in lieu of getting standard Medigap. Currently, if you purchase a Medicare SELECT policy, you can change your mind within 12 months and switch to standard Medigap.

Maggie mulls things over and concludes that while Medicare SELECT may be less expensive, its potential drawbacks could be too great. She proceeds to follow the steps for obtaining a Medicare Supplement policy. You too can follow these steps inspired by information published through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

  1. Consider your medical and personal needs.
  • Maggie would like Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up.
  • She would also like the deductibles for Part A covered completely.
  • Additionally, as pointed out before, Maggie is planning to travel the world and requires some foreign travel emergency coverage. This could prove helpful to have in the event something unexpected occurs during her adventures.
  • Maggie realizes then that she wants her Part B excess charges covered.

  1. Pick the most suitable plan.

Maggie scans the various Medigap plans once more, looking at the percentages that each plan covers.

Given the above points, her eyes eventually settle comfortably on Plan G. This plan seems ideal for her.

Now it is simply a matter of obtaining a policy for her plan. To do this, Maggie will need to contact an insurance company that sells Medicare Supplement insurance. One fact to reemphasize is that while all Medigap policies offer the same benefits, the number of plans and premium costs will differ among insurance companies.

  1. Contact the insurance company.

To fully assess her options, Maggie contacts her State Health Insurance Assistance Program or SHIP for a list of companies that sell Medigap policies in her state and their costs. She also contacts her State Insurance Department for further information.

Ultimately, she decides to obtain a policy through ManhattanLife and fills out a form to have an agent reach out to her. Shortly thereafter, Maggie receives a call from a ManhattanLife insurance agent that will assist her.

  1. Purchase your Medicare Supplement policy.

An insurance agent discusses the health plan options in depth with Maggie. While Maggie is already quite interested in Plan G, she listens intently about the other plans to be even more confident in her decision.

Minutes later, after the insurance agent finishes speaking, Maggie ponders a little before saying to the agent: “I’m especially interested in Plan G. Can you help me with a policy for that?”

“Absolutely,” the insurance agent replies. “I’d be glad to.”

Maggie grins as the insurance agent begins to thoroughly explain the details of Plan G and what she can expect with her policy at ManhattanLife going forward. Specifically, she learns how the policy will be processed and when it will go into effect.

At last, Maggie has purchased her Medicare Supplement policy, leaving her feeling terrific and reassured.

She now has her Medicare as well as her Medicare Supplement coverage firmly in place.

Still, ever the pupil and desiring the fullest view of her healthcare landscape, Maggie learns some additional details about Medicare Supplement, including information on Guaranteed Issue Rights.

For more info, please visit ManhattanLife Medicare Supplements

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2022. 2022 Choosing a Medigap Policy

Medicare and You 2023. Medicare & You 2023. 

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