If you’re a retiree in the US, you might want to understand how the AARP Medicare supplement plans work, as their benefits kick in once you’re 65.
The Original Medicare program offered by the United States government doesn’t offer extensive medical coverage, as you’d have to pay your deductibles, copays, and coinsurance to enjoy premium medical care. Furthermore, long-term care such as extended nursing care home stays, hearing, vision, and dental care are not provided for.
This gap in the original medical care created an opportunity for private insurance firms to offer retirees supplemental Medicare insurance (Medigap insurance).
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers to fill these gaps left by Medicare by offering supplement plans through the UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. This article discusses in detail the AARP Medicare supplement plans for retirees in the US.
What is AARP?
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The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a nonprofit organization for Americans nearing retirement age, particularly those 50 and older. Members can get advice and discounts from the association on everything from healthcare and travel to financial services, shopping, and entertainment.
The AARP membership costs $16 per year. However, first-time members can sign up for $12 in their first year and continue with $16.
There are eight standard Medicare supplement insurance plans AARP members are eligible to receive from United Healthcare, and they’re available in all 50 states in the US.
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans
1. Medicare Supplement Plan A
Medigap Plan A is a basic, minimal healthcare coverage for your hospital and hospice coverage. It covers the following:
- Full Medicare Part A hospital and coinsurance costs
- Full Medicare Part B copays and coinsurance costs
- Full Part A hospice care
- The first three pints of blood you may need
The plan is limited, as it does not cover many things like skilled nursing facility care, Part A and B deductibles, foreign travel emergencies, or any extra charges for Part B services.
2. Medicare Supplement Plan B
The AARP supplement plan B offers more coverage than plan A, as it offers everything plan A covers and more. Here are the costs Plan B covers:
- Part A hospital costs and coinsurance up to an extra 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
- Part B coinsurance and copay costs
- Part A hospice care coinsurance and copayment costs
- Part A deductibles
- The first three pints of blood you receive
Like Plan A, Plan B is limited in coverage. It doesn’t cover the Part B deductibles, skilled nursing facility stays, emergency travel healthcare, or part B excess charges.
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3. Medicare Supplement Plan C
Plan C is a more comprehensive Medicare supplement than Plans A and B. It covers all the out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare didn’t cover.
Here are the costs covered by the Medigap Plan C:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayment costs
- First three pints of blood you receive
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Foreign Travel Emergency
The only costs not covered by the plan are the Medicare Part B excess charges. But the good news is that most healthcare providers don’t charge this fee.
Plan C is also not provided by all healthcare insurers, and most recently, it’s been restricted to only those eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
4. Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medicare Plan F is the most comprehensive of all the supplement plans. It covers everything in Plan C and includes the Part B excess charges that Plan C doesn’t cover. Like Plan C, this plan is only available to those eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
Furthermore, Plan F has the most expensive premium among all the Medicare supplement plans.
5. Medicare Supplement Plan G
This is the most comprehensive plan available to new Medicare members who became eligible after December 31, 2019. It is also almost as expensive as the supplement Plan F as they offer the same coverage except for the Part B deductibles, which are excluded in Plan G.
The Medicare supplement Plan G is the most popular plan available to any Medicare member, offering comprehensive coverage and competitive premiums.
6. Medicare Supplement Plan K
If you’re looking for a Medigap plan with a cheap premium, the Medicare supplement Plan K is a good option. It covers 50% of the out-of-pocket medical costs after you meet your deductible.
Here is a breakdown of the costs the Medicare Supplement Plan K covers:
- 100% Part A coinsurance and hospital expenses up to 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
- 50% of Part A deductible
- 50% of Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- 50% of the cost for the first three pints of blood
- 50% skilled nursing care facility care coinsurance
- 50% Part B coinsurance or copayments.
7. Medicare Supplement Plan L
This plan is an upgrade on Plan K, as it covers the same costs Plan K covers, but up to 75% of the costs. It also has low monthly premiums, making it one of the most affordable AARP Medicare supplement plans.
8. Medicare Supplement Plan N
Plan N is closest to Plans F and G in the AARP Medicare supplement plans. It offers the same coverage as Plans F and G except for the Part B deductibles or copays for doctor visits and emergency rooms.
Another great difference between the AARP Medicare supplement Plan N and Plans F and G is its lower monthly premiums.
What Makes You Eligible for AARP Medicare Supplement Plans
To be eligible for the AARP Medicare supplement plans, you must be 50 years or older and a member of the AARP.
How Much Do AARP Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?
The costs for the AARP Medicare supplement plans vary according to state and the plans. However, the costs range from $60 to $300 per month.
Ready to Sign Up for the AARP Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medical care is expensive in the US, especially for the elderly, who visit hospitals more often. However, with the AARP Medicare supplement insurance plans, it becomes easier to afford premium healthcare services with low monthly premiums.
Although there are many private healthcare insurance companies in the US, none offer you better services than the United Healthcare Company in collaboration with the AARP.