Medicare Supplement Plans in Rhode Island
This article was updated on: 11/01/2018
What are Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island?
If you’re a Rhode Islander on Medicare, or you’ll be eligible soon, you may be wondering about Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island.
Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap policies) are designed to work alongside Medicare Part A and Part B to help fill some of the gaps in Medicare coverage. These gaps include Medicare deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and benefit limitations that are your cost share.
Medicare Supplement plans are not part of the federal government Medicare program. Instead, private insurance companies offer Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island (as elsewhere in the United States). As a state resident with Medicare coverage, you may be able to buy a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island from one of many different insurance companies.
Regardless where you buy a plan, all Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island must cover the following benefits:
- The coinsurance (your cost-share) on Medicare-covered hospital costs, up to an additional 365 days after your Medicare Part A hospital benefits have run out
- The first three pints of blood received in the hospital
- At least part of the coinsurance or copayment you would owe for Medicare Part A hospice care
- The coinsurance or copayments that are your responsibility for medical services covered by Medicare Part B
Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island (as elsewhere) may offer additional benefits.
How do I compare Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island?
To choose a Medicare Supplement plan that meets your health care coverage needs and your pocketbook, here are some tips you might find helpful.
- Understand what each of the 10 standardized benefit plans Each plan is labeled by a letter: Medicare Supplement Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N, and a high-deductible version of Plan F. Generally speaking, the more benefits the plan provides, the higher the premium.
- Figure out the Medicare Supplement plan type that matches your needs. For example, some people might choose Plan G over the more comprehensive Plan F if they can save money. Although you have to pay your Part B deductible under Plan G, you may be able to buy Plan G at a lower premium than Plan F.
- Know what’s available where you live. Insurance companies selling Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island must offer at least one of the 10 standardized benefit packages. However, insurance companies don’t have to offer every plan type.
- Compare the costs. Different insurance companies offering the same plan (like Plan F) often have different premiums.
You can compare plans by entering your ZIP code in the box on this page and clicking on the Compare Plans button.
When can I purchase a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island?
For many people, the best time to buy a Medicare Supplement plan is when they reach age 65 and sign up for Part B coverage. You have to have both Medicare Part A and Part B to qualify for Medicare Supplement insurance, but some people delay Part B enrollment. The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period (OEP) begins the month you’re both 65 or older, and enrolled in Part B. It goes for six months.
During this time, you typically have two protections:
- Guaranteed issue. This means that your application for a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island cannot be turned down and you cannot be charged a higher premium because you have a pre-existing health condition.
- Guaranteed renewal. As long as you continue to pay your premium, the insurer cannot cancel your Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island. (But if you lied on your application or if the insurance company goes bankrupt, you can be dropped from the plan.)
Usually if you apply to buy a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island after your OEP, the insurer may charge you a higher premium or deny your application based on your health condition. You no longer have the protections of guarantee Medicare Supplement plan issue and renewal. These rules are the same nationwide.
What else should I know about Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island?
Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island (and the other states) don’t work with Medicare Advantage plans. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, in most cases, no one is allowed to sell you a Medicare Supplement plan.
Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island sold after January 2006 do not cover prescription drugs. The same is true in the other states. Unless you have another source of prescription drug coverage that is comparable to Medicare Part D, you might want to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to complement your Medicare Part A, Part B, and Medicare Supplement plan.
I would be happy to answer your questions about Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island. You can use one of the links below to set up a phone call with me or request information from me by email.
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