Minnesota Medicare Supplemental Coverage

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If you’re a Medicare recipient living in Minnesota or you plan to register for Medicare in Minnesota in the near future, you may be surprised to learn that Minnesota’s Medicare system works slightly differently than those in most other states, specifically as it relates to the Medicare supplements available. But there’s no need to worry – there are still several excellent options for Medicare supplements in Minnesota, each of which can be selected during your initial Medicare registration or during the annual open enrollment period explaiend below. Understanding your options is the best way to ensure that you’ll choose the right one for your specific needs. Fill out the zip code form to find local plans and compare rates instantly.

Medigap Options – Minnesota Differences

Medigap is a federal healthcare initiative whose goal is to cover the costs associated with Medicare such as copays and deductibles. Though most states offer a range of plans corresponding to Medicare’s different levels of coverage, Minnesota offers only 2 Medigap plans; the Minnesota Basic Plan and the Minnesota Extended Basic Plan. Also available are Medigap plans corresponding to Medicare plans K, L, M, N and a high-deductible relating to Medicare plan F.

The Minnesota Basic Plan includes supplemental coverage for expenses not covered by Medicare part A such as coinsurance, hospice and respite copays and in-home healthcare services. Other needs covered by the Minnesota Basic Plan include 100 days at a skilled nursing facility, full coverage for expenses related to Medicare-covered preventative care, 20% coverage for physical therapy and the receipt of 3 pints of blood annually.

The Minnesota Extended Basic Plan includes coverage of all line items included in the Basic Plan, as well as coverage for deductibles not covered by Medicare parts A and B, 20 extra days in a skilled nursing facility, and 80% of usual Medicare fees until a $1000 deductible is reached, at which time 100% of remaining fees are covered.

Minnesota Medigap policyholders can also opt for riders that include coverage of deductibles for Medicare parts A and B, coverage of preventative care not covered by Medicare and coverage of the out of pocket fees up until the $1000 payment limit. Fill out the zip code form to find local plans and compare rates instantly.

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Medicare Advantage

Though Medigap plans cover only fees not covered by standard Medicare plans, Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare part C, is a Medicare supplement that typically offers policyholders coverage for services and service providers not included in the Medicare service basket. In 2011, approximately 345,000 Minnesota residents were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, up 11% from the previous year. Plans vary from provider to provider both in terms of coverage and in terms of price so Minnesota residents should research their options carefully before making a commitment.

Unfortunately, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 9.25% of Medicare Advantage recipients nationwide are enrolled in a plan that has the lowest out of pocket expenses. The good news, however, is that there is an opportunity to change plans each year during the national open enrollment period which usually falls sometime in the fourth quarter of the year, and will be between October 15 and December 7 for coverage in 2013. During this time Minnesota residents can also switch from Medigap to Medicare Advantage or vice versa if they so choose.

No matter which Medicare supplement you choose in Minnesota, make sure to research your options carefully and to understand that the best time to enroll is when first applying for Medicare coverage. After this time, while you will enjoy guaranteed acceptance, premiums or fees may be higher and there may be a waiting period for services relating to recently diagnosed medical conditions. Still, enrolling in a Medicare supplement can be a wise decision at any time, and if you’re hoping to enjoy your senior years in Minnesota, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have insurance you need to live a long, healthy life. Fill out the zip code form now and compare local plans and rates instantly.

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