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Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B

Medigap Plan B is one of 10 standardized Medicare Supplement Insurance plan options available in most states.

Medicare Supplement Plan B offers fewer benefits than some other Medigap plans, but it also comes with lower average premiums than most other plans.

Learn more about Medigap Plan B and if it is a good fit for your health insurance needs.

 

Find Medigap Plan B in your area.

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What Is Medigap Plan B?

Medigap Plan B helps pay for some of the out-of-pocket expenses that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover. Some of the costs that are covered by Medigap Plan B include certain Medicare copayments and coinsurance.

Medigap Plan B is accepted by any provider who accepts Medicare.

Medigap Plan B vs. Medicare Part B

Medigap Plan B should not be confused with Medicare Part B.

  • Medicare Part B is one of the two parts of Original Medicare (along with Part A). Medicare Part B is federally funded and provides coverage for doctor’s appointments and other types of outpatient care, along with durable medical equipment (DME).

  • Medigap Plan B is one of the 10 standardized Medigap plans that help supplement Medicare Part A and Part B coverage.

What Does Medicare Supplement Plan B Cover?

Plan B covers 5 out of 9 standardized Medigap benefits.

Standard Medicare Supplement Insurance benefits

Plan B

Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs

Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment

First 3 pints of blood

Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility

 

Part A deductible

Part B deductible

 

Part B excess charges

 

Foreign travel emergency

 

Medicare Part A Coinsurance

Medicare Part A is known as hospital insurance. If you are admitted for inpatient care at a hospital, you will be required to pay certain cost-sharing measures such as Part A coinsurance.

If you have an inpatient hospital stay that lasts longer than 60 days, you will have to pay Part A coinsurance costs that can add up quickly. 

Medigap Plan B fully pays for your Part A coinsurance fees.

Medicare Part B Coinsurance and Copayment

When you receive outpatient services covered by Medicare Part B, you are typically required to pay a 20% coinsurance cost for your services or items (after you meet your Part B deductible for the year).

Medigap Plan B provides full coverage for your Medicare Part B coinsurance costs and copays.

First 3 Pints of Blood

If you need a blood transfusion as part of a medical procedure, Original Medicare only covers the costs of the fourth pint of blood and beyond.

If you need blood while in the hospital, Medigap Plan B will cover the cost of the first 3 pints.

Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment

Medicare Part A covers hospice care services, but it requires copayments.

Part A copayments for hospice care include a $5 charge for certain prescription drugs and 5% of the Medicare-approved amount for inpatient respite care.

Plan B provides full coverage for your Part A hospice coinsurance and copays.

Medicare Part A Deductible

Medicare Part A comes with a deductible, which is $1,364 per benefit period in 2019. This means that if you are admitted for inpatient hospital care, you must meet your Part A deductible before your Part A benefits will kick in for that benefit period.

The deductible is not based on an annual basis, which means you could have to pay this cost more than once in a year.

Medigap Plan B will cover your Part A deductible in full for each benefit period you require.

What Does Plan B Not Cover?

Medigap Plan B does not offer coverage for 4 benefit areas. These include:

  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
    You aren’t required to pay a coinsurance cost for your first 20 days of an inpatient stay at a skilled nursing facility. But beginning on day 21 of your stay, a coinsurance payment of $170.50 per day is required in 2019.

  • Medicare Part B deductible
    Medicare Part B requires you to pay an annual deductible of $185 before your Part B coverage kicks in.

  • Medicare Part B excess charges
    Certain health care providers don’t accept Medicare assignment, which means they do not accept Medicare reimbursement as full payment for their items or services.

    These providers reserve the right to charge up to 15 percent more than the Medicare-approved amount for services and items. This is called an “excess charge.”

  • Foreign travel emergency care
    Original Medicare doesn’t typically cover emergency care you receive outside of the U.S. Some Medigap plans cover 80% of the costs for any emergency medical care you receive while traveling abroad.

How Does Plan B Compare to Other Medigap Plans?

Plan B covers fewer benefits than other Medicare Supplement insurance plans such as Plan F, Plan C and Plan G, but it may offer lower average monthly premiums.

To see the difference between Plan B and the other standardized Medigap plans, please review the chart below.

2019 Medigap plans comparison chart

How Much Does Medicare Supplement Plan B Cost?

The average Medigap Plan B premium in 2018 was $141.24 per month.1

There were six Medigap plans with a higher average monthly premium than Plan B in 2018, which means that Plan B is typically a lower-cost option than other Medigap plans based on their premiums.

Medigap Plan B Enrollment

In 2017, 251,163 people were enrolled in Medigap Plan B, which accounted for about 2% of all Medigap beneficiaries.

More than half (56%) of all insurance companies that sold Medigap policies in 2017 offered Plan B.

Why Choose Medigap Plan B?

The Medigap plan that is right for you will depend on your unique health coverage needs and your budget. Plan B is generally more affordable than several other Medigap plans.

So why do some Medigap beneficiaries find Plan B to be a good option?

  • While Plan B doesn’t cover Part B excess charges, Medicare Part B excess charges can be easily avoided simply only visiting health care providers who accept Medicare assignment.

  • Although Plan B does not cover foreign travel emergency care, this may not be a concern for you if you do not plan on traveling outside of the U.S.

If you don’t need coverage for certain Medicare costs, Medigap Plan B could possibly be a good fit for you.

How Do I Sign up for Plan B?

If Medigap Plan B seems like a good fit, you can request a free Plan B quote online today. Plan B options may be available where you live. 

Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare the plans in your area so that you can find a plan that fits your needs.

 

Find Medigap Plan B in your area.

Find a plan

Or call --ms-tfn-- to speak with a licensed insurance agent.


1 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2019. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.

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