Medicare is a vital healthcare program for millions of seniors in the United States. However, it doesn’t cover all healthcare costs, leaving beneficiaries with gaps in their coverage. This is where Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap, come into play. AARP, a well-known organization for seniors, offers its own line of Medicare Supplement plans to help fill these gaps.
What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare Supplement plans are private insurance policies designed to complement Original Medicare, which includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). These plans help cover costs that Medicare doesn’t, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. There are several standardized Medicare Supplement plans labeled A through N, each offering different levels of coverage.
Why Choose AARP Medicare Supplement Plans?
AARP, or the American Association of Retired Persons, collaborates with UnitedHealthcare to provide a range of Medicare Supplement plans. There are several reasons why AARP Medicare Supplement plans are popular among seniors:
1. **Stability and Reputation**: AARP is a well-established organization with a strong reputation for advocating for seniors’ rights and needs. This reputation extends to its insurance offerings.
2. **Variety of Plans**: AARP offers a variety of Medigap plans, making it easier for seniors to find a plan that suits their individual healthcare needs and budget.
3. **Member Benefits**: AARP members may be eligible for additional benefits, such as discounts on healthcare-related products and services.
4. **Nationwide Coverage**: AARP Medicare Supplement plans are available in most states, ensuring broad accessibility for seniors across the country.
What Do AARP Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
The coverage provided by AARP Medicare Supplement plans varies depending on the specific plan you choose. However, some common benefits include:
– Coverage for Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles.
– Coverage for coinsurance and copayments for hospital and medical services.
– Coverage for skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
– Foreign travel emergency coverage.
It’s important to note that Medicare Supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs. To get prescription drug coverage, you’ll need to enroll in a standalone Medicare Part D plan.
Enrollment and Eligibility
To enroll in an AARP Medicare Supplement plan, you must be eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B. It’s generally recommended to enroll during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, which is typically the six months following your 65th birthday and when you first become eligible for Medicare Part B. During this period, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or charge higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions.
AARP Medicare Supplement plans can be a valuable addition to Original Medicare, helping seniors reduce out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. When considering these plans, it’s essential to compare the available options, their coverage, and their costs to find the one that best meets your unique healthcare needs.