Medicare Supplement Plans in Michigan
This article was updated on: 10/12/2018
When it’s time to decide on your Medicare coverage, you generally have two main “paths” to choose from:
- Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) with or without a Medicare Supplement plan in Michigan
- Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C). Under this program, you get your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits through a private insurance company that contracts with Medicare.
Michiganders tend to prefer the Original Medicare path. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported in 2018 that around 60% of Medicare enrollees chose Part A and Part B instead of a Medicare health plan such as Medicare Advantage.
If you’re considering Original Medicare, here’s what you need to know about Medicare Supplement in Michigan to help you decide if this optional coverage is right for you.
Why would I want a Medicare Supplement plan in Michigan?
Under Original Medicare, you’re responsible for Part A and Part B deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance amounts for many covered services. There’s no out-of-pocket limit—if you have a serious health issue, you could owe thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan (and other states) may protect you against catastrophic medical bills and help you better manage your health-care expenses. Most Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan generally pay your Part B coinsurance amounts. Some plans have “first dollar” coverage, which means they may cover either or both your Part A and Part B deductibles, leaving few out-of-pocket costs for covered expenses.
If you think you’ll want that level of comprehensive coverage, you should buy the plan as soon as you are eligible. Congress passed a law in 2015 eliminating plans that pay the Part B deductible as of January 1, 2020, according to Forbes.com. If you bought a plan that pays your Part B deductible before that time, you’ll be allowed to keep it, but no new such plans will be sold.
What do Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan cover?
Although Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans in Michigan are sold by private insurance companies, the plan benefits are standardized across the country. That means that a Medicare Supplement Plan C in Michigan has the same basic benefits as a Plan C in other states. Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have their own Medigap plans.
All Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan typically cover your Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance and other Part A costs for an additional 365 days after your Original Medicare benefits are exhausted. The same is true nationwide.
All Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan usually pay between 50% and 100% of the cost of your first three pints of blood (depending on the plan), your Part B coinsurance, and your Part A hospice coinsurance amount.
From there, Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan may cover Part A and/or Part B deductibles, Part B excess charges, and skilled nursing facility coinsurance amounts. Some even have benefits for limited emergency health care when you’re traveling internationally.
Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan Plans K and L, which offer less comprehensive benefits, also have an annual maximum out-of-pocket limit. That means that if your Medicare Part A and Part B out-of-pocket spending reaches this limit within a year, the plan will generally pay your covered Medicare costs for the rest of the year.
What are the costs of Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan?
You’ll have to pay a monthly premium to your Medicare Supplement insurance provider in addition to your normal Medicare premium. Each company sets its own premiums, and they may vary widely from company to company and plan to plan. Even the same plan, such as Medicare Supplement Plan K, might cost you less from one company in your area than from another. Insurance companies can rate Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan in one of three ways, contributing to the wide range in premiums:
- Community-rated, where everyone in the plan is charged the same premium, regardless of age.
- Issue-age rated, where premiums are based on your age when you purchase the plan.
- Attained-age rated, which means your premiums go up as you get older.
There may be special subsidies available for Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan if you meet income requirements and choose a participating insurance company. The Michigan Medigap Subsidy program may pay a portion of your monthly premium directly to your insurer, lowering the cost of your coverage, if you qualify.
When should I enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Michigan?
The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan begins the month you are 65 or older and enrolled in Part B, and extends for six months. During this period, you can buy any Medicare Supplement plan in your part of Michigan, and you can’t be charged more for it due to your health status or pre-existing conditions.
If you think you want a Medicare Supplement plan, you may want to buy it as soon as you are eligible. If you wait and your OEP expires, the insurance company may require you to undergo medical underwriting before selling you a plan. If you have any serious or chronic health conditions, you may be unable to buy the plan you want, or you may have to pay much higher premiums for it. You might also have to wait six months for coverage of any pre-existing conditions if the company does sell you a plan.
Would you like some assistance comparing Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan? I’d be happy to help.
- To display a list of plans in your area, click the Find Plans or Compare Plans buttons on this page.
- Follow the links below to reach out to me or ask me to email you customized information.
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