The Supplement plans are diverse, but all ten of them take their coverage from the same list of items. Let’s go over what those are so that you have a better understanding of what could be covered.
First up is the coverage for Medicare’s coinsurance payments. If you have Original Medicare (which you need to have to qualify for Medicare Supplements), then you would have to pay for a Medicare Part A coinsurance payment and a Medicare Part B coinsurance payment. Your Part A expenses may already be covered if you worked enough and paid your taxes before signing up for an Original Medicare plan, but most people have to pay that Part B coinsurance payment.
Next up is the coverage for Medicare’s deductible payments. Once again, you’ll have to pay this for Medicare Part A and Part B. It’s a once-a-year payment, though. Most of the Supplement plans will cover you for the Part A deductible, but only a couple of them cover the Part B one. That deductible is $183, so it’s not too expensive, all things considered.
Another expense that 2020 Medicare Supplement plans can cover is the Medicare Part B excess charges. These are not charges that everyone will need to pay in their lifetime. It’s really only something reserved for people who visit hospitals and other medical facilities where Medicare isn’t fully accepted. Part B coverage from Original Medicare may not be complete there, and there may be some leftover charges, which a couple of the Medicare Supplement plans will take care for those people. As this is an uncommon expense, it’s not one that most of the Supplement plans will bother to cover for you.
Your Supplement plan can also take care of the cost of nursing care coinsurance. While Original Medicare covers you for some skilled nursing care expenses, the coinsurance payment is up to you, unless you get that covered by a Supplement plan.
It’s the same with the hospice care coinsurance payment. This one can be covered by a Supplement plan, since Original Medicare would leave it for you to take care of on your own.
Your blood usage can be covered as well. Now, Original Medicare covers some blood use for you each year, but the Supplement plans provide an additional three pints for you, and that’s renewed every year.
The final item of coverage is for emergency medical transport in foreign countries. That’s to cover you if you need to be taken to a hospital for emergency care and the closest medical facility is outside the US borders. The cost of transport can be covered up to 80% of the cost each time, after you have paid the deductible. You will only be covered for up to $50,000 over your lifetime for this expense.
What you need to know about this coverage item is that they are not always offering 100% coverage. Many of the plans only provide coverage for 50% or 75% of a given item. For instance, your Part B coinsurance payment may only be covered for 50% of the cost by Medicare Supplement Plan K, and this particular plan covers many of the items it provides coverage for at only 50% of their total. This makes it a low coverage plan but also a cheap one, so it’s a good pick for people who have few medical expenses to pay and who just want to be covered somewhat for many of their expenses.