Once you understand what Plan M and Plan N will cover, you can see why these plans will be right for so many people, possibly for you. The biggest market for non-Medicare Supplement policyholders is those who have so far stopped paying for a supplemental plan. Plans M and N compensate for this problem. In addition, M and N promise to be a great alternative for Medicare Advantage policyholders at a time when Medicare Advantage programs are changing tremendously (most of these changes are negative: reduced benefits, increased premiums). These options will offer premiums that are not much higher (if any) than Advantage programs and coverage, which in most cases is much broader.
What makes the Medicare supplement plans a good alternative to the Advantage plan? Your Medicare Advantage plan may change each year. Benefits may change, premiums may increase, or the plan may not be renewed for the following year. What happens if you don’t like the changes? Or your Medicare Advantage plan may not be renewed for the following year. Take a look at Medicare Supplement Plan N as a viable alternative. Plan N was introduced in June 2010 as one of Medicare’s new modernized supplement plans. Plan N provides more liberty than a Medicare Advantage policy and lower fees than many other Medicare supplement plans. In certain instances, you will get lower premiums than some of the Medicare Advantage options available.
Once you have a plan, you should only present your ID card with your Medicare red, white, and blue card when you receive services from a doctor or hospital. In all, Medicare supplement plans remain a viable option for those who own Medicare and want to limit their exposure to direct costs. With Medicare alone, you will bear 20% of all medical expenses. But with a Medigap policy, you can reduce significantly or, with certain plans, totally eliminate your direct expenses.
A supplement fills the gaps in covered services. Medicare now complements Plan G. Everything is covered except the Medicare Part B franchise, now $147. There really isn’t much of a difference between these two plans. So what is the key to choose? Do doctors/hospitals in your area accept Medicare “attribution”? However, in most areas doctors and physicians accept the task and are paid strictly according to the Medicare fee list for procedures and services. If doctors in your area, or more specifically those you would use, accept the assignment, that benefit should not have much weight in your decision.