The answer to that question depends on which parts of Medicare you are enrolled in, or plan to enroll in.
You can buy a Medicare supplement policy if you plan to buy:
- Medicare Part A and
- Medicare Part B
You can't buy a Medicare supplement policy if you plan on using any of the following:
- Medicare Advantage Plan
- An employer's insurance plan
- VA benefits
- Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA)
What Do I Get with a Medicare Supplement Policy?
It helps you pay for some of the out-of-pocket expenses regular Medicare doesn't cover. Your supplemental insurance will pay for each of the following basic benefits:
- Extended hospital stays (one year after regular Medicare benefits end)
- Coinsurance on a hospital stay (Part A)
- Coinsurance (Part B)
- Outpatient hospice prescription co-pays
- Inpatient respite care coinsurance
- First three pints of blood
These are just the basic benefits that are included in all 10 available plans. Additional features are available on a state-by-state basis. Some of those features include coverage for deductibles for Part A and Part B, excess charges for Part B, and benefits for care you receive while traveling out of the country. Keep in mind that a new supplemental policy won't cover prescription drugs—this is what Medicare Part D covers.
Do I Need a Medicare Supplement?
Yes, if you think you'll have trouble paying for Medicare deductibles, co-pays, or co-insurance. If you're on a tight budget where every penny matters, a big expense like co-insurance might be more than you can handle. In that case, insurance can help make sure you won't have to pay that cost out of your own pocket.