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What Is Medicare Supplement Plan A?

If you’re receiving Medicare because you’re on Disability, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan A may be a good option to help you control your costs. Plan A is available for purchase to anyone who’s on Medicare, but it offers the most basic coverage out of all of the Medigap plans.

Medicare Supplement plans allow you to retain the benefits of Original Medicare, such as a nationwide network, while protecting you from out-of-pocket costs. Typically, most carriers don’t offer as many plans to people who are on Medicare for Disability as they do for people who’ve aged into Medicare. Plan A is one of the few options that tends to be available to people on Disability.

If you’ve aged into Medicare at 65, Plan A typically isn’t a cost-effective option. You’ll most likely have plans available to you that offer a higher level of coverage at a similar premium.  

 

What Does Medicare Supplement Plan A Cover?

Medicare Supplement Plan A covers the following Medicare expenses:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayment
  • Blood (first three pints)
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

Medicare Supplement Plan A covers the coinsurance associated with Medicare Part A (inpatient benefits) and provides an additional 365 days of coverage in the hospital during your lifetime (but only while on the policy). It also covers the coinsurance and co-pays associated with your Medicare Part B (outpatient benefits). This plan also covers the first 3 pints of blood (Medicare covers everything after) and co-pays and coinsurance for Part A Hospice care.

What Doesn’t Medicare Supplement Plan A Cover?

Medigap Plan A offers the most basic benefits, so there some coverage gaps you should consider.

Plan A doesn’t cover:

  • Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance
  • Part A deductible, which is $1,408/benefit period in 2020
  • Part B annual deductible, which is $198 in 2020
  • Excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency services

Some of these gaps in coverage could leave you with high out-of-pocket costs. For instance, the $1,408 Medicare Part A deductible resets each benefit period. A benefit period begins when you haven’t been admitted as an inpatient for 60 days in a row, which means that you could be responsible for it more than once in a year. Excess charges, while not common, can also result in high out-of-pocket costs to you. Excess charges are a fee of up to 15% of the cost of a service that you received, that a healthcare provider can charge if they choose not to accept the amount of money that Medicare is willing to pay.

Should I Choose Medigap Plan A?

Depending on your situation, Medigap Plan A may be the best fit for you. Plan A might be a good choice if:

  • You’re on Disability
  • You don’t travel
  • Your doctor doesn’t charge excess fees
  • You don’t need inpatient care

You should carefully consider your options before deciding which plan will best suit your needs. An alternative for people receiving Medicare because of Disability is Medicare Supplement Plan C. Plan C offers more benefits, such as coverage for the Part A deductible. If you’re age 65 or older on Medicare, you should consider one of the higher coverage plans available to you. For instance,  Plan G covers the Part A deductible, excess charges, and foreign travel in addition to Plan A’s benefits, and is typically available for a similar premium. At the end of the day, it’s important that you choose the plan that will give you peace of mind, and allow you to receive the treatment that you need at an affordable price.

Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

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