Why You Need a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Medicare is a federal program to help older Americans and some disabled Americans pay for the high cost of health care. However, Medicare was never intended to cover all your health care costs. So even if you’re covered by Medicare, you are still responsible for a large portion of your health care costs. Without a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, your out-of-pocket costs could add up to more than $57,424 this year alone.
What Medicare Doesn’t Cover
Medicare does not cover all health care costs. Medicare coverage consists of Part A (which covers hospital and skilled nursing facility care), and Part B (which covers doctor bills and other medical expenses).
Even with Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, you’re responsible for some out-of-pocket expenses including:
(Here are the 2017 deductibles):
- Part A hospital deductible ($1,316)
- Part B deductible ($183)
- Copayments for hospital stays over 60 days
- Care in a skilled nursing facility after 20 days
- Twenty percent coinsurance for doctor bills and other medical expenses
By law, Medicare Supplement insurance plans are standardized into twelve plans (Plans A through L). That means Plan F from one company must include the same benefits as plan F from another company. While the benefits must be the same, each company’s rates, reputation, membership features and quality of service can vary. With Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, you don’t have to sacrifice comprehensive benefits or freedom-of-choice for affordability. Their Medicare Supplement plans provide substantial benefits at rates that can save you money over other plans.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma Member Benefits
All Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma Medicare Supplement Insurance plans give you:
- Guaranteed Acceptance with no health questions asked
- Freedom to choose any doctors or specialists
- Coverage with domestic travel (Plans F, HD-F and N cover foreign travel)
- Guaranteed renewability regardless of changes in your health
- Coverage guaranteed to match Medicare’s cost increases year after year
- Blue Extras Member Discount Program that include discounts on wellness products and services including vision, fitness clubs, weight management, complementary alternative medicine, hearing and more
- No claim forms, in most cases
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Basic Benefits
Basic benefits included in all plans include:
- Hospitalization – Part A coinsurance plus coverage for 365 additional days after Medicare benefits end.
- Medical Expenses – Part B coinsurance (generally 20% of Medicare-approved expenses), or in the case of hospital outpatient department services under a prospective payment system, applicable copayments.
- Blood – First three pints of blood each year.
- Of all available standardized plans, Plans F offers the most complete protection for uncovered Medicare Part B excess charges. The plan also pays the Medicare Part A hospital deductible and copayments, skilled nursing facility copayment and foreign travel emergency care.
- Plans F also covers the Medicare Part B deductible.
High Deductible Plan F and Plan N include cost-sharing features that allow you to save on premiums while still receiving dependable coverage.
- High Deductible Plan F features a $2,200 annual deductible (2017) before plan benefits begin
- Plan N features an office visit and emergency room copayment applicable to each visit
Part B medical excess: Charges from your provider that exceed Medicare-approved amounts. Only Plan F, High Deductible Plan F cover these charges. For all other plans, you are responsible for paying excess charges. In no case can a provider charge more than 115% of the Medicare approved amount.
Skilled nursing coinsurance: Medicare pays the first 20 days of treatment in a skilled nursing facility, and an annually adjusted per diem for the 21st through 100th day. Plans with this benefit pay an additional annually adjusted per diem for the 21st through 100th day. You are responsible for all charges after the 100th day. In order to receive any Skilled Nursing Facility benefits, you must meet Medicare’s requirements:
- You were admitted to a hospital for at least three days
- You were admitted to a Medicare-approved skilled nursing facility within 30 days of leaving the hospital
Foreign travel emergency: Medically necessary emergency care services beginning during the first 60 days of each trip outside of the United States. All plans offering this benefit require you to pay a foreign travel emergency deductible and a percent of costs after the deductible is met.
Reduced Premium Medicare Select Option
Plan F and Plan N Med-Select options offer you the same solid benefits as the “standard” plans, but cost less. You save on premiums simply by agreeing to use any of the Med-Select participating hospitals for non-emergency elective admissions. If you do not use one of these hospitals for your non-emergency admissions, you pay the $1,316 Part A deductible. Med-Select is not an HMO. With Med-Select, you are fully covered for emergency care at any hospital, and you can choose your own doctors and specialists.
Med-Select is available in specific geographic areas only. You must live within a 30 mile radius of a Med-Select participating hospital.
does not pay in 2017
|Expenses covered by our plans|
|Plan A||Plan F||High Deductible
|Part A (Hospital Services)**|
|$315 per day
covered expenses for
days 61-90 in hospital
|$658 per day
while you use your
|100% of Medicare
for additional 365 days
hospital benefits stop
|Calendar year blood
for first three pints of
|$164.50 per day for
days 21-100 in a
skilled nursing facility
(Medicare Part A)
|Part B (Physician’s Care and Medical Services)|
|$183 Part B deductible|
(25% of Medicare
approved amount for
and 20% for most
except up to $20
office visit and
up to $50 ER
|100% of Medicare Part
B excess charges
equipment (20% of
|Additional Expenses Not Covered by Medicare
|Benefits for medically
care received in a
* Plan F also has an option called a high-deductible Plan F. This high-deductible plan pays the same or offers the same benefits as Plan F after one has paid a calendar year $2,2000 deductible. Benefits from high-deductible Plan F will not begin until out-of-pocket expenses are $2,200. Out-of-pocket expenses for this deductible are expenses that would ordinarily be paid by the policy. These expenses include the Medicare deductibles for Part A and Part B, but do not include the plan’s separate foreign travel emergency deductible.
** Hospital benefits must be provided by facilities participating with Medicare. Payments are limited to the reasonable charge as determined by Medicare.
*** After 90 days of hospitalization, Medicare benefits are paid from a one-time lifetime reserve of 60 additional days (days 91-150) which are not renewable each benefit period. See your Outline of Coverage for details and limitations of these benefits.
† After $183 Part B deductible is met for Plans A, F, High Deductible Plan F, and Plan N.
†† Foreign Travel Emergency covered at 80% after first $250 each is paid each calendar year; up to $50,000 lifetime maximum.