Free to choose your own doctor can be a critical advantage for you during an illness or accident. Choice matters, second opinions matter, knowing you have the best care possible matters.
Medicare Supplement policies all work the same regarding doctor and hospital choice. As long as the doctor is medicare-approved, you will have access to them. Some doctors in certain areas of the country have decided to become concierge doctors, meaning they have removed themselves from medicare and most other types of employer based or group insurance. They have become ‘cash-only’ doctors. In this case medicare will not work for these doctors.
On the other hand, well over 85% of all doctors across the U.S. are medicare-approved, which means you have access to them. The doctor does not need to be affiliated with the supplement plan such as; Anthem, Blue Shield, Aetna or AARP. As long as they accept medicare you can see them, regardless of the medicare supplement carrier you currently have.
Your Original Medicare is your ‘primary coverage,’ while your supplement is your secondary coverage. The doctors office is contracted with “primary” coverage only, not secondary or supplemental coverage.
Medicare combined with a Supplement provide for medical coverage only. There are a few companies providing “Innovative” or Extra benefits such as a discount for vision or hearing services included with their medicare supplement plan(s). Also gym memberships, other than a few discount services, you are looking at strictly “medical” coverage.
- Plan F = 100% hospital coverage – 100% outpatient. No deductibles, copays or percentages.
- Plan G = 100% hospital coverage – $226 annual outpatient deductible then 100% coverage.
- Plan N = 100% hospital coverage – $226 outpatient deductible then $20 copay per outpatient visit.
When to enroll in a Medicare Supplement …
If you are new to medicare, you will have a 6 month open enrollment for any medicare supplement in the state. Open-enrollment allows you to enroll in the new company plan without medical underwriting. Medical underwriting is when the new company does a review of your current and past health history. So, during open enrollment you do not need to pass the health review, it is a guaranteed enrollment.
If you are exiting an employer health insurance plan, you will automatically have a two month open enrollment. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and move to a different county, you are also allowed a two month open enrollment for a medicare supplement. There are many other situation where a person will be offered an open enrollment, please feel free to contact me with any questions.