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Learn about Medicare Supplement Plan B with SelectQuote

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Couple walking alongside their bicycles on beach knowing they are covered with Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B

Understanding Medicare Supplement Plan B

Medicare Supplement Insurance, sometimes referred to as Medigap, covers some of the out-of-pocket costs that you would normally have to pay with Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare). Medicare Supplement Plan B is similar in coverage to Medicare Supplement Plan A, however, Plan B covers your Medicare Part A deductible and offers more hospitalization coverage.

If you’re in good health and don’t foresee needing a lot of healthcare or hospitalization in the coming year, Medicare Supplement Plan B is likely a good choice for you to consider.

What does Medicare Supplement Plan B cover?

Medicare Supplement Plan B covers some of the out-of-pocket costs that you would normally have to pay with Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Supplement Plan B has many of the same features as Medicare Supplement Plan A, however it adds additional hospitalization coverage and also pays your Original Medicare Part A deductible.

Covered

Hospital Expenses: Medicare Supplement Plan B pays your Original Medicare Part A deductible AND Original Medicare Part A coinsurance plus it provides coverage for 365 additional days once your Medicare benefits end.

Hospital Expenses

Medicare Supplement Plan B pays your Original Medicare Part A deductible AND Original Medicare Part A coinsurance plus it provides coverage for 365 additional days once your Medicare benefits end.

Medical Expenses: Pays Part B preventive care coinsurance (which is generally 20% of Medicare-approved expenses) as well as copayments and coinsurance for any hospital outpatient services you receive.

Medical Expenses

Pays Part B preventive care coinsurance (which is generally 20% of Medicare-approved expenses) as well as copayments and coinsurance for any hospital outpatient services you receive.

Part A Deductible: The Medicare Part A deductible for 2021 was $1,484. This is the amount you have to pay before your Medicare coverage kicks in.

Part A Deductible

The Medicare Part A deductible for 2021 was $1,484. This is the amount you have to pay before your Medicare coverage kicks in.

Transfusions: Pays for the first three pints of blood you receive (max 3 per year).

Transfusions

Pays for the first three pints of blood you receive (max 3 per year).

Hospice Care: If this type of care is needed, this supplement plan will cover your Part A coinsurance or copayment.

Hospice Care

If this type of care is needed, this supplement plan will cover your Part A coinsurance or copayment.

Not covered

Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance: Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance is an amount you may be required to pay as your share of the cost for services after you pay any deductibles.

Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance

Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance is an amount you may be required to pay as your share of the cost for services after you pay any deductibles.

Part B Deductible: The Medicare Part B deductible for 2021 was $203. After the deductible is met, you pay 20% of the Medicare-Approved Amount (this is the amount a doctor or supplier that accepts assignment can be paid in Original Medicare) for most doctor services, outpatient therapy and durable medical equipment.1

Part B Deductible

The Medicare Part B deductible for 2021 was $203. After the deductible is met, you pay 20% of the Medicare-Approved Amount (this is the amount a doctor or supplier that accepts assignment can be paid in Original Medicare) for most doctor services, outpatient therapy and durable medical equipment.1

Part B Excess Charges: Providers who don’t accept Medicare assignment may charge up to 15 percent more than what Medicare is willing to pay, known as Part B excess charges. Medicare assignment is the Medicare approved cost for a particular medical service. Medicare assignment is accepted by Medicare-approved providers.

Part B Excess Charges

Providers who don’t accept Medicare assignment may charge up to 15 percent more than what Medicare is willing to pay, known as Part B excess charges. Medicare assignment is the Medicare approved cost for a particular medical service. Medicare assignment is accepted by Medicare-approved providers.

Foreign Travel Medical Emergencies: In most cases, Medicare won’t pay for health care or supplies you get outside of the U.S.

Foreign Travel Medical Emergencies

In most cases, Medicare won’t pay for health care or supplies you get outside of the U.S.

Prescription Drugs: Medigap Plan B does not cover prescription drugs. However, you can buy an additional Medicare Prescription Drug plan to cover prescription drug costs.

Prescription Drugs

Medigap Plan B does not cover prescription drugs. However, you can buy an additional Medicare Prescription Drug plan to cover prescription drug costs.

Who can benefit from this type of supplement plan?

If you are in good health, don’t foresee needing a lot of healthcare or hospitalization in the coming year, want your Medicare Part A deductible covered, as well as more hospitalization coverage than Medicare Supplement Plan A, Medicare Supplement Plan B could be a good option for you.

Mark Chose Medicare Supplement Plan B

Mark is a healthy 72-year old who takes only two prescriptions regularly and is committed to a healthy lifestyle and regular checkups.

He doesn’t anticipate any increased needs for healthcare in the coming year and didn’t want to pay for extras he felt he wouldn’t need.

However due to his age, Mark felt it was important to have a little extra coverage for hospitalization expenses.

That is why he likes that Plan B pays his Medicare Part A deductible.

For these reasons, Mark chose Medicare Supplement Plan B.

Advantages to Medicare Plan B

  • Fills the gap for basic costs not covered by Original Medicare Parts A & B, such as copayments and coinsurance.
  • Pays your Original Medicare Part A deductible.
  • Provides more hospitalization coverage than Medicare Supplement Plan A.

Drawbacks to Medicare Plan B

  • Has the potential for higher out-of-pocket costs if the need for the uncovered categories occurs.

The Cost of Medicare Supplement Plan B

Monthly premiums are set by the private insurance companies who offer Medicare Supplement Insurance plans and are based on age, health status, gender and various other factors. Depending on these factors including location, insurance companies may charge different premiums for the same Medicare Supplement Plan B.

That’s why it is in your best interest to shop around to ensure you are paying the lowest amount possible for your Medigap coverage. Companies may not cancel your coverage unless you don’t pay the plan premium, you weren’t truthful on the application, or the Medigap insurance company becomes bankrupt or insolvent.

How Pricing Works For This Plan

Pricing for Medicare Supplement Plan B varies by company. Medigap policies can be priced in 3 ways: community-rated, issue-age-rated, and attained-age-rated.

  • Community-rated: Generally, the same monthly premium is charged to everyone who has the Medigap plan, regardless of age. Premiums may go up because of inflation and other factors, but not because of your age.
  • Issue-age-rated: The premium is based on the age you were when you bought the Medigap plan. Premiums are lowered for people who buy at a younger age and won’t change when you get older. Premiums may go up because of inflation and other factors, but not because of your age.
  • Attained-age-rated: The premium is based on your current age, increasing your premium as you get older. Premiums are lower when you are younger, but continually increase as you age. Premiums may also increase because of inflation or other factors.2

When to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans

When you’re first eligible: The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is when you’re first eligible. You are eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy (Medigap) on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. This marks the beginning of your Medigap Open Enrollment Period which lasts for 6 months.

You must already be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. During this period, you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, regardless of any health problems. You will generally see better prices and more choices among Medigap policies during this period.

Outside open enrollment: While it’s often better to get coverage when you’re first eligible, you can still apply for Medigap coverage after your initial enrollment period. However, if you apply for coverage after your initial enrollment period, there’s no guarantee that an insurance company will sell you a policy if you don’t meet the medical underwriting requirements.

FAQs About Medicare Supplement Plan B

Below are answers to common questions about Medicare Supplement Plan B:

Is Medicare Supplement Plan B the same as Medicare Part B?

Medicare Supplement Plan B is not the same as Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B is the medical insurance portion of Original Medicare. Medicare Supplement Plan B is a supplemental plan that helps fill the gap for basic costs not covered by original Medicare Parts A and B.

How can I lower the costs of my Medigap Plan B?

While Medicare Supplement plans are standardized (meaning all Plan B plans offer the same benefits), the prices can be different between insurance companies and are determined by a number of factors. Shopping around is the best way to make sure you have the plan that you need at a price you can afford.

Do Medigap plans vary by state?

Medigap plans are standardized, meaning they offer the same benefits, across most of the states, except for Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Plans, Minnesota Medicare Supplement Plans, and Massachusetts Supplement Plans.

Do Medicare Supplement plans cover pre-existing conditions?

While insurance companies can’t make you wait for your coverage to start, they may make you wait for coverage for a pre-existing condition. Coverage for pre-existing conditions can be excluded if the condition was treated or diagnosed within 6 months before the coverage starts under the Medicare Supplement plan.

After the 6-month period, the Medicare Supplement plan will cover the condition that was excluded. However, it is possible to avoid or shorten the waiting period for a pre-existing condition if you buy a Medicare Supplement plan during your Medigap open enrollment period to replace “creditable coverage” Medigap plan.3

Compare Medicare Supplement Plans

With the number of Medicare Supplement plans available, it’s hard to know which one to choose. Let SelectQuote help you figure out what plan would be a good fit for you.

Find the Right Medicare Supplement Plan For You With SelectQuote

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to Medicare. At SelectQuote, we can help you navigate the Medicare Supplement plans available to you, understand costs and answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

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