Do you need a Medicare supplement?
March 10, 2017 Rhonda Ubben
Medicare doesn't cover all of your medical expenses, which is why many Medicare recipients cover the gaps with a supplemental plan.
Aren't all plans the same?
Medicare supplement plans all have the same benefits per government guidelines. However, not all insurance companies are the same. You'll want a company you can trust to pay your claim promptly and offer you the best service.
The North Dakota Insurance Department offers insurance counseling services to help answer questions about your Medicare supplement plan options. These counselors are not associated with any insurance company or product and offer unbiased help and information for those enrolling or already receiving Medicare benefits.
When should I buy?
The best time to apply for a supplement plan is when you enroll for Medicare, either when you retire and stop receiving employer sponsored health insurance or at age 65. If you enroll or switch Medicare supplement coverage after your original enrollment period, you may experience medical reviews of pre-existing conditions or application delays. However, BCBSND has a special enrollment period until June 30 with no worries about current medical conditions plus a quick and easy application process.
Things to know
When you buy a Medicare supplement plan, you should compare options to find a plan that offers the best coverage for your needs. Here are things to consider as you shop:
- You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to also get a supplement plan.
- Supplement plans cover one person. Your spouse will also need a plan to cover health care costs not paid by Medicare.
- You will pay a monthly premium to the insurance company for a supplemental plan. This is in addition to the monthly premium you pay to Medicare for Part B coverage.
- Prescription drug coverage is separate from Medicare supplement plans. To get this coverage, you need a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan from an insurance company. This coverage is also referred to as PDP or Medicare Part D.
- If you buy a supplement plan when you first enroll in Medicare, pre-existing conditions are not an issue. However, if you get a supplemental plan after being enrolled in Medicare or switch plans at a later date, pre-existing conditions can be a factor.
Need to compare BCBSND Medicare supplement plans? Our side-by-side comparison chart makes it easy.
Need to start at the beginning? Read our BCBSND Medicare 101 information to learn more about coverage and benefits.