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Medicare Supplement Information


Click on the following for an overview of Medicare Supplement:

How Medicare Supplement Policies Work
Who is Eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance
What is Covered Under a Medicare Supplement Policy
What is Not Covered Under a Medicare Supplement Policy
What Medicare Supplement Policies Cost
To Learn More About Medicare Supplement Insurance

How Medicare Supplement Policies Work Many insurance companies sell Medicare Supplement insurance policies that fill in the "gaps" of Medicare coverage. Starting with policies effective on or after June 1, 2010, new Modernized Medicare Supplement plans will be available for sale. The Modernized plans will still be known as plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Certain Medicare Supplement plans were eliminated, a new hospice benefit is added as a core benefit available with every Medicare Supplement plan offered for purchase, and two new plans, M and N, have been added. From the onset on and after June 1, 2010 (and with some variation by state), Equitable will offer Medicare Supplement Plans A, F and N.

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Who Is Eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance State and federal laws guarantee that for a period of six months from the date you first enroll in Medicare Part B and are 65 or older, you have a right to buy a Medicare Supplement plan. This is called "open enrollment."

If you are under 65, you are eligible if you have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months. However, not all insurance companies sell Medicare Supplement plans to people under age 65. Once you reach age 65, you receive a 6 month open enrollment period and may purchase any Medicare Supplement policy available in your state.

Some states allow people who are eligible for Medicare by reason of disability an initial open enrollment period, when they first enroll in Medicare, Part B.

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What is Covered Under a Medicare Supplement Policy Medicare Supplement policies pay for some or all of Medicare's coinsurance amounts and some or all of Medicare's deductibles. Some of the Modernized plans pay for services not covered by Medicare, such as emergency services outside the U.S. and for limited skilled nursing home stays.

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What is Not Covered Under a Medicare Supplement Policy Most Medicare Supplement policies do not provide additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing and long term care.

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What Medicare Supplement Policies Cost Your age is the primary factor in determining the cost of a Medicare Supplement policy. Some policies increase in price each year with a change in your age. Some states require the policies to have a "community rate," which means the same price is charged for all ages.

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To Learn More About Medicare Supplement Insurance Each year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services publishes a booklet entitled "Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare." This booklet, commonly referred to as the "Medicare Buyers Guide," gives you valuable information about the Medicare program and Medicare Supplement policies. If you are interested in purchasing Medicare Supplement coverage, the insurance company or your agent must give you a copy of the Guide for you to review.

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References: Judith A. Stein and Alfred J. Chiplin, Jr., Medicare Handbook, Aspen Publishers (2010).

This is a commercial message from Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Company, a private insurance company which is not connected with or endorsed by the United States Government or the federal Medicare program.