Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans give you the best possible coverage but are sometimes pricey. Medigap premiums can range from around $150 to $200 per month. A Medicare SELECT plan might have a lower premium than a Medigap plan. However, there are some downsides to a Medicare SELECT plan. For the lower premium, you will have limited coverage.
What is Medicare SELECT?
Like Medicare supplement plans, Medicare SELECT works to fill the gaps in your Medicare coverage. Medigap plans come as ten standardized plans. Any of these plans are available as a Medicare SELECT plan. If you wanted to enroll in a Medicare SELECT plan, you would do so in the same way you would enroll in a Medigap plan.
Because these plans are like Medicare supplement plans, the type of coverage is the same. For example, if you got a Plan F as a Medicare SELECT plan, it would cover:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Part A hospice care or copayment
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency
Like a standard Medigap plan, Medicare SELECT pays what Medicare does not cover. This includes out-of-pocket expenses, coinsurance, and copayments.
With Medicare SELECT, you will have to pay a monthly premium. This is a premium you will pay in addition to your Medicare Part B premium. Also, these plans do not include prescription drug coverage. However, you can typically get coverage from a low-cost Medicare Part D plan.
These plans cost less than a regular Medicare supplement plan because it prevents patients from going to any provider they want. This means that if you enroll in one of these plans, you might not get to visit the doctor of your choice. It is important to remember this when you are thinking about enrolling in one of these plans.
Is a Medicare SELECT Plan Right for You?
Medicare SELECT Plans and Medicare supplement plans are extremely similar. They both fill the gaps of coverage in Medicare and cover costs such as copayments and coinsurance. However, it might be wise to get a normal Medigap plan over a Medicare SELECT plan.
The enrollment period for a Medicare SELECT plan is the same as the enrollment period for a Medigap plan. This open enrollment period is six months long and it starts the day your Medicare Part B starts. If you decide within the year that a Medicare SELECT plan is not for you, you have any time within that year to drop the plan.
Medicare SELECT plans are only available in certain areas. Because these plans are not as widely available as a regular Medigap plan, this could mean that you might not receive coverage for your current location. However, there may be an available, equivalent Medicare supplement plan in your area.
Also, unlike Medicare supplement plans, Medicare SELECT plans have a strict network of providers for non-emergency, Medicare covered services. As long as the doctor you see accepts Medicare, you will receive coverage benefits, however, you may not get the benefits of filling the gaps in coverage that a Medicare SELECT plan offers.
We Can Help
You have a variety of options when it comes to buying a Medicare supplement plan. For some, a Medicare SELECT plan might meet all of your needs. However, we encourage you to look at all the pros and cons of these plans before signing up for one.
We recommend Medicare supplement plans. These plans can cover all of the gaps in your Medicare coverage. It also allows you to have the freedom to go to any healthcare provider you wish. While they might be more expensive, they ensure you get complete coverage.
We can compare rates and plans for you. Because all Medicare supplement plans are standardized, you will get the same coverage regardless of the company you choose. We will show you side-by-side quotes, so you know you’re getting the best deal for your unique situation.
If you want, you can get your Medicare supplement quote online. You can also call us at (800) 310-2550 for more information, to get your quote, or to talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable agents. We’ll be more than happy to discuss the differences between a Medigap plan and a Medicare SELECT plan, and help you make the right decision for your needs.