Medicare Supplement Myths: Choose Your Provider and Travel, Too

Health insurance can be confusing and Medicare Supplement plans are no different. Sometimes you just need some help sifting fact from fiction to figure out what’s best for you. Below are five myths Avera Health Plans Sales Associate Martin Dahl hears most often.

Myth 1: I can’t choose my own doctor or stay with my current doctor.

Fact: All Medicare Supplement plans allow you to choose any doctor, and that includes those offered by Avera Health Plans. It’s also important to remember that Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are very different.

Myth 2: I’m not covered when I travel.

Fact: Medicare Supplement plans with Avera offer emergency coverage 365 days of the year from anywhere. So if you’ll be traveling for the holidays you need not worry. If you like to travel for an extended period of time, perhaps during the winter months, you have options, too. Avera Medicare Supplement plans will cover you for up to 90 continuous days of travel for both emergency and non-emergency care.

This means you can’t move to Arizona for five months for cancer treatment, but if you are there for an extended vacation and get strep throat, you will be covered for a provider visit, with your 90 continuous days of coverage starting at that point. If you visit Arizona four months later and need to see a provider, you won’t be covered because the 90-day period has expired.

Myth 3: Medicare will cover all my expenses, so I don’t need supplemental insurance.

Fact: Medicare is not designed to cover everything and includes things like deductibles and coinsurance.

Plus, there is no out-of-pocket cap with Medicare. That can mean that you could pay a percentage of an unlimited amount of medical expenses over the years. A Medicare Supplement plan may play an important role and help you if you’re facing a percentage that you have to pay — these plans pick up where Medicare leaves off.

A good example is chemotherapy treatment. Some Medicare Supplement plans can cover the deductible and 20% coinsurance costs not covered by Medicare.

In addition, remember that your coverage with Avera Health Plans is more than insurance; it provides a number of services that can help you maintain your best possible health, and that’s not something every plan offers.

While a supplemental plan can offer you many benefits, it’s not the same as Medicare Advantage. That type of plan is more like traditional health insurance. You will still have out-of-pocket costs such as coinsurance, co-pays and deductibles that can use up your savings.

Medicare Supplement plans, which chosen carefully using the facts, can help you avoid using savings to cover health costs.

Myth 4: My health history will affect whether I can get a supplemental policy.

Fact: Most companies do ask health questions, what’s known as underwriting. But during an Avera Health Plans’ open enrollment period, we don’t ask any health questions. That means you can sign up for a plan regardless of chronic conditions or past issues.

Starting in 2021, Avera Health Plans began year-round open enrollment for Medicare Supplement G, and you can sign up for it without facing any health questions.

Myth 5: I can only change supplemental plans during certain parts of the year.

Fact: You can change Medicare Supplement plans any time of year but you will have to answer health questions, which may limit your options. That’s why it’s so important to consider changing during an open enrollment period when Avera Health Plans is enrolling people with no health questions asked.

Learn more about Medicare Supplement options by talking with an agent.

Doctor meeting with elderly male patient