Effective June 1, 2010, the Medicare Supplement marketplace will look completely different. That is the government-appointed date, on which all companies that market and sell Medicare Supplement plans will have to abide by the modernized Medigap chart. Most importantly, this modernization adds two new plans to the mix of available Medicare Supplements, Plan M and Plan N. Both promise to be legitimate choices for new and existing policyholders – are they right for you?
What the Plans Will Cover
Medicare Supplement Pl M will be very similar to current Medigap Plan D. It will still have the core benefits of covering the 20% that Medicare does not cover at the doctor, hospital and skilled nursing (as well as hospitality coverage); however, Plan M will not cover the Medicare Part B deductible (currently $ 135 / year) and it will only cover half of the Medicare Part A deductible (currently $ 1068 / year). It will not have any co-pays, though. Most people project Plan M to have a premium of approximately 85% of current Plan F premiums (Plan F is the most common plan currently).
Medigap Plan N will also be similar to current Medigap Plan D. Instead of covering some or all of the deductibles, though, it will lower premiums by using cost-sharing. There will be a $ 20 co-pay at the doctor's office and a $ 50 co-pay for emergency room visits. Most expect Plan N to be about 70% of current Plan F premium costs.
Why They May Be Right For You
Once you have an understanding of what Plan M and Plan N will cover, you may be able to see why these plans will be right for so many people, possibly including yourself. The largest market of non-Medicare Supplement policyholders is those who have heretofore been unable to afford a supplement plan. Plans M and N offset that problem.
In addition, M and N promise to be a great alternative to Medicare Advantage policyholders at a time when Medicare Advantage programs are changing greatly (most of those changes are negative – reduced benefits, increased premiums). These options will offer premiums that are not that much higher (if any) than Advantage programs and coverage that is, in most cases, much more comprehensive.