Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan D

Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, helps pay some of the costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like:

  • Deductibles
  • Copays
  • Coinsurance

Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance work together:

  • First, Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) pays its share of the Medicare-approved amount for your covered health care costs
  • Then, your Medicare Supplement Insurance pays its share

You can buy Medigap policies through private insurance companies. There are 10 different Medicare Supplement plans with different levels of coverage. This supplementary insurance fills some of the coverage gaps in Original Medicare.

Balanced Benefits, Minimal Expenses

Plan D offers a level of coverage that is right in the middle of the various Medicare Supplement policies. The Part D policy is a very popular choice because it requires minimal out-of-pocket expenses. Part D covers the rest of your medical and hospital costs after Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) has paid its share. Because Part D gives you this amount of coverage, it's generally the most expensive Medigap policy to buy.

Plan D offers more coverage than Plans A and B, but less than Plans C and F.

8 Things Medicare Supplement Plan D Covers:

  • Part A deductible
  • Part B coinsurance costs for preventive care
  • Part A hospital and coinsurance costs (up to an additional 365 days after your Original Medicare benefits are exhausted)
  • Part B copays or coinsurance
  • First three pints of blood for an approved medical procedure (yearly)
  • Part A hospice care copays or coinsurance
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance
  • 80% of emergency medical care costs when you're traveling outside the United States

Medicare Supplement Plans generally don't cover long-term care, private-duty nursing, vision care, dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses.

Original Medicare Part B Deductibles and Excess Charges

Plan D does not cover your Medicare Part B deductible or Part B excess charges. You may receive Part B excess charges if a doctor doesn't accept "assignment". This means the doctor charges a higher amount – up to 15% - than Medicare will pay for a healthcare service. This difference is called an "excess charge". You're usually responsible for paying these charges. Plans F and G do cover these costs.

Medicare Supplement vs. Medicare Advantage

It's important to know that a Medicare Supplement Plan is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. A Medicare Advantage Plan is another way to receive Medicare benefits. A Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap policy) works together with your Original Medicare benefits and supplements them. Before you decide which option fits your needs, it's a good idea to read about these choices and talk with a Medicare specialist.

Important note:

Medicare Supplement Plan D is not the same as Medicare Part D. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medigap policies are not allowed to offer prescription drug coverage.

Things to remember:

  • You must have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)
  • You must continue to pay your Part B premium
  • You will also pay a monthly premium for your Medigap policy
  • You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that's licensed in your state to sell one
  • Your Medigap policy cannot be canceled by the insurance company as long as you pay your monthly premium
  • Not all insurance companies sell Plan D

For more information:

  • Contact the private insurance companies that sell Medigap policies
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (TTY: 711) 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

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