Medicare SELECT: A Type of Medicare Supplement plan

Victoria Burke by Victoria Burke | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 09/16/2018

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Are you looking to see if you can save money with a Medicare Supplement plan? There’s a type of plan called a Medicare SELECT plan that may have a lower premium than most Medicare Supplement plans.

What is Medicare SELECT?

If you have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), you may be interested in buying a Medicare Supplement plan to help pay Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. Different Medicare Supplement plans pay for different amounts of those costs, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare SELECT plans are a type of Medicare Supplement plan.

Some background about Medicare Supplement insurance

Before we dive into Medicare SELECT plans, here’s a little lowdown on Medicare Supplement insurance. Private insurance companies offer Medicare Supplement plans nationwide. They’re standardized with lettered names (such as Medicare Supplement Plan A, not to be confused with Medicare Part A) in 47 states. Each of these standardized plans may provide at least a portion of benefits such as: Medicare Part A coinsurance and coverage for hospital benefits, Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment, skilled nursing facility coinsurance, and hospice care coinsurance or copayment. Most states offer up to 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans, identified by letters A through N. (Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Minnesota offer different standardized Medicare Supplement plans than elsewhere in the United States.)

Any of the 10 standardized plans might be available as a Medicare SELECT plan. Unlike other Medicare Supplement plans, however, Medicare SELECT plans may have networks of participating providers, which plan members must use to receive the benefits of their plan for covered services. If you see a provider outside the plan network, you might have to pay some or all of the out-of-pocket costs that Medicare doesn’t pay.

How are Medicare SELECT plans different from other Medicare Supplement plans?

Three features set apart Medicare SELECT plans from other Medicare Supplement plans.

  1. Availability: Medicare SELECT plans may not be as widely available as other standard Medicare Supplement plans. You can use the Compare Plans button on this page to see if Medicare SELECT policies are available where you live.
  2. Networks: Insurance companies offering SELECT Medicare Supplement plans might require you to see providers in the plan’s network for your non-emergency, covered services.
  3. Cost: Medicare SELECT plans may have lower premiums than other Medicare Supplement plans.

 How does Medicare SELECT work?

If you enroll in a SELECT Medicare Supplement plan, your plan benefits will be one of the 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans (A, B, C, D, F, G. K, L, M or N).  In general, Medicare will pay its portion of covered hospital and medical services, and the Medicare SELECT policy may pay the Medicare out-of-pocket costs as specified in the policy, if you received care within the plan’s network (if applicable).

Because of the network restrictions of Medicare SELECT plans, it may be a good idea to review the plan’s network of participating providers prior to making a decision to enroll.

Other than the network requirements, SELECT Medicare Supplement plans generally have the same rules that apply to other types of Medicare Supplement plans.  Some of these rules are described below.

  • You may apply for a SELECT Medicare Supplement plan available where you live when you are age 65 or older and have Medicare Part A and Part B. (In some states, people who have Medicare and are younger than age 65 may qualify for Medicare Supplement insurance.)
  • In most cases, you cannot enroll in a Medicare SELECT plan if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • You will typically pay a premium to your Medicare SELECT plan in addition to your Medicare Part B premium. The Medicare SELECT premium can change each year.
  • As long as you responded truthfully on your application, keep paying your premium, stay enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and reside within the Medicare SELECT plan’s service area, your plan can renew each year.
  • Medicare SELECT plans sold today do not include prescription drug coverage.  You may be able to enroll in prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D.

If you buy a Medicare SELECT plan, and decide within the first 12 months of coverage that it isn’t suitable to your lifestyle or health-care needs, you may be able to disenroll in the plan and buy a standard Medicare Supplement plan.

Do you want to learn more about Medicare SELECT and other Medicare Supplement plan options?  To get started, you can use the links below to schedule a phone appointment or have me email you Medicare information tailored to your needs. To take a closer look now at Medicare Supplement plan options that can cover your needs, use the Compare Plans button on this page.

The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these Medicare.com Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

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