Since Medicare began beneficiaries of Medicare have searched for supplemental coverage to cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare. This includes the deductibles, copays, coinsurance and non-covered items.

Searching for the correct supplemental plan for you and your spouse is confusing but these are things that make the process a little easier to understand.

A little over 70% of Medicare covered persons have supplemental coverage to go along with their Medicare. The coverage is either through their retirement package or private coverage purchased through personal insurance companies offering the supplemental coverage. Those that buy private insurance are 40% of the 70% covered.

Medicare Supplement insurance is also sometimes called Medigap insurance. Federal law changes in 1992 advised carriers of these types of coverage that they can only offer 10 standard plans. These are plans A through J. 

The least costly of the plans, A, offers standard minimum benefits and the rest of the plans offer variations in covered services and costs. The federal law advises companies only have to offer Plan A, the other plans are optional.

Of the 50 states, 44 offer all the plans. Delaware, Pennsylvania and Vermont have chosen not to offer all the plans A through J and Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Minnesota have waivers for their covered insured Medigap policy owners for policies they purchased prior to 1992. They allowed to keep these plans without converting to A through J. Premiums are typically charged according to age or health status if the company requires health insurance questions answered (underwriting). AARP requires that Medigap policies sold through the Prudential Company are the same without regard to age or health status questions. 

This particular market of insurance has steadily grown  since 1992 and will continue to grow with the amount of Americans turning 65 or becoming eligible for Medicare. Along with the grown of the industry the costs of the coverage has also grown tremendously.

However, increases in the insurance rates have must have approval  by the State Insurance Commissioner. Although for many over 65 Medicare covered patient's the rates are still extremely expensive. All of the Medigap coverage policies are single policies because your Medicare coverage is a single policy. Therefore, if you are a couple you cannot get a reduced family rate for the coverage. Many states have rate increases yearly that are well above the Social Security rate increase and the cost of living rate increase making premiums difficult to pay.

medicare supplement
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