We make Medicare Supplements simple.
Medicare is complicated, which means it is common to have a lot of questions. Fortunately, we have answers. You can start by reviewing the
collection of common questions below. If you still have unanswered questions or need a little guidance, talk to one of our Medicare specialists
and they’ll help you navigate your best options based on your situation.
What does Medicare cover?
The government provides two types of Medicare—parts A and B. Part A helps pay for hospital-related costs, like inpatient stays and hospice services.
Part B helps pay for other medical care like doctor visits, preventive services and outpatient care.
Since Medicare leaves gaps, you can add to your coverage with supplement products from a private insurer to lower your out-of-pocket costs and get
extra benefits. Many people add prescription drug coverage, known as Medicare Part D.
When is the Medicare sign-up deadline?
Many people enroll at age 65 – with your enrollment window being three months prior to and three months after your birthday. However, Medicare has many
enrollment periods and rules about enrolling and making changes to your coverage. Knowing this information can help you avoid enrollment penalties and
lapses in coverage.
Do I need a Medicare Supplement right away?
No, but Medicare Supplement plans—which lower your out-of-pocket costs and provide extra benefits—can cost considerably more down the road if you don’t
enroll right away. This is because Medicare Supplement coverage is priced based on your age and health status. Within your initial enrollment window,
there is no underwriting- which means your health status does not impact your monthly premium costs for your Medicare Supplement.
Is it true that Medicare Supplement plan coverage is the SAME no matter what company provides the plan?
Yes, that is true. The federal government has standards for supplemental insurance plans, so every insurance company offers the same products. The difference
lies in cost, services, reliability and the number of doctors available to you. Medicare Supplemental insurance plans, offered by private firms, can
strengthen your coverage by filling policy gaps and minimizing your financial liability.
Will you drop me or increase my premium if I use the plan a lot?
No. Your coverage is guaranteed to be renewed as long as you pay your monthly premium, and you won’t get singled out for illness or injuries.
Does Medicare cover prescription drugs?
Original Medicare includes very limited drug coverage. You’ll need Medicare prescription drug coverage, called Medicare Part D, to get insurance coverage for
most of the drugs you get at the pharmacy—such as medication for an illness or a chronic condition. Not all insurance companies have the same drug list or
formulary – which outlines covered drugs under the plan.
What is Medicare Advantage?
If you want a simpler approach to Medicare, you can bundle all your coverage together into one plan called Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage, also called
Medicare Part C, is a single plan administered by a private company (instead of the government) that combines your Medicare Parts A and B, and sometimes also
your Part D prescription drug coverage and supplemental insurance benefits.
Will my supplement plan work out of state?
BCBSND’s two most popular supplement plans, F and G, enable you to go to any health care provider in the United States regardless if the doctor accepts Medicare.
If your medical treatments are Medicare eligible, BCBSND will cover the deductibles—even if you go out of state for the winter or enjoy traveling year round.
Plan F and Plan C are only available for individuals who are or were Medicare eligible prior to January 1, 2020. Please contact a licensed agent to assist with
your Medicare Supplement application.
If I don’t like my plan, can I switch?
The Medicare annual enrollment period every fall applies to your prescription drug plan, not your Medicare coverage or your supplement coverage. However, the short
answer is yes. However, the supplement plan is subject to underwriting, which means the cost you’ll pay for the coverage is based on your age and your health.
That’s why it’s important to enroll in Medicare when you are first eligible and shop carefully for your supplement. Plans can cost considerably more down the