Medicare Supplement Plans in Nebraska
This article was updated on: 11/01/2018
If you’re like most Nebraskans, you’re choosing Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) for your Medicare coverage. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), around 87% of all Medicare enrollees in the state chose Part A and Part B over Medicare Advantage.
However, unlike Medicare Advantage, Original Medicare has no out-of-pocket maximum. If you’re considering Original Medicare, you may want to consider Medicare Supplement (Medigap) in Nebraska to help cover your out-of-pocket costs.
What does Medicare Supplement plans in Nebraska cover?
All Medicare Supplement plans in Nebraska cover some combination of your Part A and/or Part B copayments and coinsurance amounts. Generally Medicare Supplement plan does not cover your Part A or Part B premiums or costs associated with prescription drugs.
Depending on your health care needs and financial situation, you may choose a comprehensive “first dollar coverage” plan, such as Plan F, which pays both your Part A and Part B deductibles, as well as your copayment and coinsurance amounts. People with Medicare Supplement Plan F in Nebraska pay very few out-of-pocket costs for covered services under Medicare.
All Medicare Supplement plans in Nebraska cover all or part of your Part A coinsurance amounts (including an extra 365 days of coverage after you exhaust your Original Medicare benefits), your Part B coinsurance amounts, your first three pints of blood, and your Part A hospice coinsurance.
When can I enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Nebraska?
Open Enrollment for Medicare Supplement plan in Nebraska begins the month in which you are age 65 or over and enrolled in Part B, and lasts for six months. During this time, you can buy any Medicare Supplement plan sold in Nebraska, and you can’t be charged more than anyone else for your plan, regardless of your health status.
If you think you’ll want a Nebraska Medicare Supplement plan, it’s a good idea to buy one as soon as you are eligible. If you wait, you may not be able to buy the plan you want, or you may have to pay much higher premiums.
Medicare Supplement plans in Nebraska are offered by private insurance companies, and these companies set their own guidelines and premiums. Once you lose your “guaranteed issue” rights after Open Enrollment, the company may require you to pass medical underwriting before approving you for a plan. If you have serious or chronic health conditions, you may have trouble buying the plan you want.
You may also be entitled to guaranteed issue rights outside Open Enrollment in very specific situations, but it’s best not to take any chances if you think you want a Medicare Supplement plan in Nebraska.
If you’re under 65 in Nebraska, you may not be able to buy any Medicare Supplement plan since neither the federal government nor the state requires private insurance companies to sell Medicare Supplement plans to you.
How much does a Medicare Supplement plan in Nebraska cost?
Because these plans are offered by private companies, premiums aren’t set at the federal level like Part A and Part B premiums. Companies can use three methods to price, or rate, their policies:
- Community rating, where everyone is charged the same premium, regardless of age.
- Issue-age rated, where your premium is determined by your age at the time you buy the plan.
- Attained-age rated, where your premiums go up the older you get.
It’s important to know how your plan is priced, especially if you choose an attained-age plan, so you can budget for premium increases. Although all plan premiums may go up each year due to inflation or other factors, attained-age plan have more significant increases as you age.
What else should I know about Medicare Supplement plans in Nebraska?
In 2015, Congress passed new legislation affecting Medicare Supplement in Nebraska. As of January 1, 2020, all Medicare Supplement plans that cover the Part B deductible will be discontinued, which means you will no longer be able to buy Medicare Supplement Plan C or Plan F after December 30, 2019. However, if you already have one of these plans, you’ll be allowed to keep it. If you think you’ll want this more comprehensive coverage, be sure to buy it before the plans are eliminated.
If you travel internationally, or plan to do so in the future, you may want to consider a Medicare Supplement plan in Nebraska. Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover medical expenses outside the United States, except in extremely narrow circumstances, but some Medicare Supplement plans in Nebraska do cover 80% of your health care costs when you travel, up to the plan limit.
It’s a good idea to consider your future health care needs, not just your current situation, when considering which Medicare Supplement plan in Nebraska to buy. Unlike other Medicare products that let you re-evaluate and switch plans each year during Open Enrollment, there is no such option for Medicare Supplement. You have no right to switch plans later if you decide you are unhappy with your current plan, except in specific situations. It’s best to buy the coverage today you think you’ll want in the future.
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