What is Medicare Plan D?
Medicare Plan D is one of the ten standardized Medigap plans, which is also known as Medicare Supplement Plan D or Medigap Plan D. It is often confused with Medicare Part D, which is your prescription drug coverage. A good way to remember the difference is that only Medicare has parts. Private insurance options are described as plans.
To remove any confusion, we’ll call Medicare Supplement Plan D or Medigap Plan D.
What Does Medicare Supplement Plan D Cover?
Medicare is not full-coverage healthcare. In fact, there are nine coverage gaps baked into the Original Medicare. Generally speaking, Medicare pays about 80% of your major medical costs and you pay the other 20% out-of-pocket. To help with your 20% share, you can buy a Medigap plan.
To fully understand what Medicare Supplement Plan D covers, let’s first look at the nine gaps in Medicare. They include:
- Medicare Part A Coinsurance & Hospital Costs
- Medicare Part A Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance
- Medicare Part A Deductible
- Medicare Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment
- Medicare Part B Deductible (annual)
- Medicare Part B Coinsurance or Copayment
- Medicare Part B Excess Charges
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Foreign Travel Emergency
In Original Medicare, your coverage is divided into two different parts. Part A is your hospital coverage and Part B covers medical services. The deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and other costs listed above are what you pay when you use your Medicare benefits.
Medigap Plan D offers excellent hospital coverage, but it leaves you to pay the annual Medicare Part B deductible and Part B excess charges. However, it does pay your Part B coinsurance when you see a doctor, have lab tests done, or use other outpatient medical services. It also covers your first three pints of blood, and it offers foreign travel emergency coverage (with a 20% copayment).
Is Medicare Plan D a Good Plan?
As long as you understand that your annual Part B deductible ($198 per year at the 2020 rate) and excess charges are coming out of your pocket, Medigap Plan D is a great plan. However, if you’re open to the idea of paying a little bit more out of your own pocket, there is another plan with similar coverage that can save you a lot of money on your premiums. It’s Plan N.
Just like Medigap Plan D, Plan N does not pay you Part B deductible or your excess charges. Where you save money with Plan N is by also paying a small copay (up to $20) when you see your doctor or use the emergency room (up to $50). Other than that, the two plans are identical.
Plan D works well for people with a chronic health condition, but use doctors that accept Medicare-assignment (no excess charges). Plan N works well for people with no chronic health issues who manage their good health through annual preventative health visits, which are covered 100% by Medicare.
Need to speak with a professional? Are you ready to see the prices? Call 1-855-266-4865 and talk with a HealthPlanOne insurance agent. There’s no obligation, just helpful advice. Ask for your free Medigap rate analysis.