If you are looking for a Medigap Plan with low monthly premiums, a Medicare SELECT plan may seem like a good option. But Medicare SELECT plans have strict limits on the doctors and hospitals you can use. It’s important to weigh both the costs and the benefits before deciding if a plan is right for you.
Medigap Plans pay the gaps in Parts A and B. There are ten standard Medigap plans, Plan A through Plan N. Each program offers different benefits. These supplemental plans pay for things like co-pays, deductibles, hospice care, medical emergencies while traveling, and doctors’ charges that exceed the amounts paid by Medicare.
What is a Medicare SELECT Plan?
Medicare SELECT plans limit you to a network of specific doctors, specialists, and hospitals. If you go to a healthcare provider or hospital that is outside the network, your coverage will not pay unless it’s an emergency.
You’ll be responsible for paying anything that Part A and B don’t cover. You usually need a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist or go to the hospital. In this way, Medicare SELECT operates much like an HMO.
Medicare SELECT plans are not in every state. Insurance companies decide whether they want to offer this type of policy in a particular area.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare Select?
If you miss this window, you can enroll at any other time of the year. You will just have to go through medical underwriting.
Is Medicare SELECT the Best Plan for Me?
Before deciding on Medicare SELECT, find out whether the doctors and hospitals you like to use are in the policy. If you want to see the doctor out of the network, you save a small amount of premium but end up paying more than a regular Medigap plan. Also, consider how important it is to be able to choose your specialists as well as where you would go for severe illness.
Does Medicare SELECT Cover Me While I’m Traveling?
Think about how often you travel out of your immediate area. Consider the hassle of going to your primary care doctor every time you need a referral. Weigh these against the potential monthly savings in a SELECT plan.
What if I’m Not Happy with my Medicare SELECT Plan?
If you do decide on a Medicare SELECT plan, you have 12 months to change your mind. Within this time frame, you can switch to a standard Medigap policy. You can switch to another plan if you move out of your insurance company’s coverage area or if your insurer decides to stop offering your SELECT program in your area. If in the first 12 months of coverage, you decide standard Medigap is more suitable than a SELECT plan, you can switch without worrying about underwriting.
What’s the Difference Between Medicare SELECT vs Medicare Advantage?
As stated above, these plans work very similarly to an HMO Medicare Advantage Plan. There are similarities. These plans are available in specific areas; also, they restrict doctors and hospitals. Select plans are different from Medicare Advantage plans because they don’t have a copayment schedule like the Medicare Advantage plans. Also, SELECT plans don’t include Part D, dental, or any other benefits. However, depending on the Medigap company, you might be able to purchase an Active & Fit benefit; or some other wellness coverage.
What is the History of Medicare SELECT Plans?
SELECT plans go back to the early 1990s. They were available in 15 states, including Florida, California, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas. Then in 1995, these plans were made available to all regions. By 1998, SELECT plans became a permanent law. Implementing SELECT plans is different across each state.
How to Compare Rates on Medicare SELECT Plans
The select Plan is basically an HMO that fills the gaps of Medicare. There is no coverage on ancillary benefits, and the doctor limits are strict. Medigap standard options are better, especially if you can afford the slightly higher premium. The lower premium in exchange for a network may work for some, but it's not something most will recommend starting
At MedicareFAQ, we help you find the best Medigap or Medicare SELECT policy for your needs. We answer your questions and get quotes from the top insurers in your area. Call us today to get started or fill out our online form to compare rates online.