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Medicare Supplement Plans in Connecticut
What is a Medicare Supplement plan?
A Medicare Supplement plan in Connecticut fills in the gaps in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage. Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap, pay for costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. In addition, some Medigap plans might include coverage for medical services rendered out of the country or hospice care.
In Connecticut, a Medicare Supplement plan is designed to be used in combination with Original Medicare and cannot be used as a stand-alone plan. If a beneficiary is looking for additional coverage outside what is available through Original Medicare and Medigap, a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan may be considered. Medicare Advantage plans can be used to replace Part A and Part B, providing the same coverage plus additional benefits. Prescription Drug Plans offer prescription drug benefits when other plans do not include such coverage.
A Medicare Supplement plan in Connecticut does not include coverage for vision, hearing, or dental care. These plans also do not provide prescription drug benefits. Plans are classified by a letter category, and every plan in that category will offer identical benefits. However, the cost of the plan may vary, based on the location and company providing coverage.
Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan in Connecticut
In Connecticut, Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurance companies. The most common time to enroll in one of these plans is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This six-month period begins on the first day of the month that a beneficiary is 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
The Open Enrollment Period is the most opportune time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Connecticut, since companies offering the plans are not allowed to use medical underwriting to charge higher premiums. They are also prohibited from denying coverage to beneficiaries based on their medical history or current medical issues.
Beneficiaries may enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Connecticut after the Open Enrollment Period as well. However, the insurance company can require medical underwriting, and beneficiaries may be charged more for a policy or denied coverage completely due to their health status.
Choosing a Medicare Supplement plan in Connecticut
Although plans in a single category offer identical coverage, it is still a good idea to do your homework before enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan in Connecticut. First, determine which plan category will best meet your needs. Next, compare pricing for the various plans within that category to find the one that offers the best value for your money.
Trends in Medicare Supplement plans in Connecticut
Trends seen in Medicare Supplement plans in Connecticut include:
- There were 586,545 Medicare beneficiaries living in Connecticut in 2012.
- That number made up 16% of the total population in the state.
- Most (86%) of those beneficiaries qualified for benefits according to age.
- There were approximately one dozen companies offering approved Medicare Supplement plans in the state in 2013.
- Companies offering a Plan B or C must also offer plans to disabled Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 65.
Data provided by the Connecticut Insurance Department and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.