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What supplement insurance benefits does Medigap plan A provide?

Sue Lanza | November 29, 2010

Question: What supplement insurance benefits does Medigap plan A provide?

Answer:  Medigap plan A provides core Medicare supplement insurance benefits

Medigap policies, sold by private insurance companies, are aptly named because they are designed to bridge the cost gaps of original Medicare. Although original Medicare, which includes Medicare Parts A and B, covers many health care services, a Medigap policy can assist in covering costs such as deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.

There are several basic benefits that all Medigap policies provide:

  • Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment:
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or co-payments
  • Medicare Part B preventive care coinsurance
  • Blood (first 3 pints)

Medigap plan A

Medigap plan A provides the core set of benefits listed above and typically has the lowest premiums. You should consider your current and future health insurance needs before selecting any Medigap plan; however, if you've determined that you only need this core set of benefits and understand that you may be financially responsible for other out-of-pocket expenses, Medigap plan A may be the right option for you.

Pricing methods for Medigap plans

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recommend that you shop carefully as pricing between private insurance companies can vary widely. Health insurance companies can structure premium rates for your Medigap coverage using three different pricing models:

  • Community-rated pricing: Age is not a factor in this rating method and everyone who has this Medigap plan is charged the same premium.
  • Issue-age-rated pricing: This rating method is based on your age when you purchase the plan. With this rating system, premiums are lower for those who buy at a younger age and shouldn't increase as you grow older.
  • Age-attained-rated pricing: Premiums for this rating method are based on your current age. With this pricing method, your premiums increase as you age.

A final factor to consider as you are shopping for your Medigap A plan is to plan to sign up during open enrollment for the easiest transition to your new plan.

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