Since the deductibles and other costs of Basic Medicare can result in high out-of pocket costs, many rely on secondary insurance to cover those costs. With secondary insurance, Medicare will pay first and the coverage gap insurance will pay what Basic Medicare does not pay.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Insurance provided by private companies that in general covers all the Medicare approved expenses not covered by Basic Medicare. Other than the Part B annual deductible there are no other out-of-pocket expenses. No deductibles, no co-pays and no co-insurance. There is a monthly premium that varies by company. With a Medicare Supplement Plan there is no network of doctors or hospitals so you can choose any health care provider you wish. Also, there is no referral for specialists.
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you're enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren't paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage. With a Medicare Advantage Plan there is a network of providers so you will have to check to verify that your preferred provider is in the network. Medicare Advantage Plans have co-pays and/or co-insurance for most services. Many preventative services are free and the Plans often offer some vision and dental services.
Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)
Part D adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
Not sure what kind of coverage you have?
- Check your red, white, and blue Medicare card.
- Check all other insurance cards that you use. Call the phone number on the cards to get more information about the coverage.
- Check your Medicare health or drug plan enrollment.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.