Here is a question that comes up regularly among Medicare subscribers and those looking into buying a Medicare plan: “What are the best Medicare supplements for 2018?” The answer might surprise some of them.
Simply put, you can’t call any of the supplement plans the “best one”. It’s not a label that fits, because each one serves a different purpose. You have Plan F that offers full coverage, but it is also the costliest plan. So those that have a lot of coverage needs may find it worth their money, but people with few coverage needs and few medical bills left to pay after using Medicare will not get much use out of it. It would be a waste of money to them. So for someone, Plan F is the best plan, no doubt about it. But for many more, it simply isn’t a good use of their money.
The Medicare supplements for 2018 are categorized into two groups- high and low-coverage plans. Plans like F, G and N all offer substantial coverage. These are the high-coverage plans, and they will cost you the most. The other plans are all ones that fall into the low-coverage category. They don’t offer as much coverage, but they cost much less.
You can find them all at a variety of prices. There is no set market price for Plan N. AARP has it for one price, and Aetna has it for another. Then, when you go somewhere else in the country. AARP has the same plan at a different price. The rates vary due to the cost of living, local competition and other factors.
The Medicare supplement plans cover a lot of ground. These include coverage for all of the following:
- Deductibles for all parts of Medicare
- Copayments for all parts of Medicare
- Excess charges for Medicare Part B
- Hospice care
- Emergency care in foreign countries (when it would be best for you to receive treatment outside the US)
- Nursing care
- More blood every year
So while Medicare’s basic plan may already cover bits and pieces of some of these items, the supplement plans add on even more coverage for them. They lower your medical costs and making healthcare more affordable for you.
Not all of these plans cover all the same items though. Plan F covers the entire list up above. But Plan N takes a few items away, only covering most of them. You’ll have to look through all of the ten plans yourself to see which one offers the coverage you are looking for.
You can tell how much coverage will be right for you by looking at your own medical needs and coverage needs. You have to determine what amount of coverage makes your medical bills manageable, and you have to do it with the thought in mind that you will be paying for that extra coverage. So leverage the cost of the insurance against the cost of the medical bills and try to go with the cheaper option.