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Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan C is one of the most comprehensive of all the supplement plans available. Only Supplement Plan F offers more coverage. Supplement Plan C covers most Medicare-approved out-of-pocket expenses. The only thing that Supplement Plan C does not cover is the Part B Excess Charges.
Nonetheless, Medicare Supplement Plan C will no longer be available. Just like Supplement Plan F. If you become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to buy Plan C. If you already have Plan C, don’t worry – you can generally keep your plan. You can apply to buy Plan C if you become eligible for Medicare before 2020.
These were the great benefits under Supplement Plan C.
Excess charges are surcharges that your doctor can charge above and beyond what Medicare will reimburse. They are limited to 15% beyond what Medicare pays. Many doctors do not charge excess charges, but sometimes they do. If this concerns you, the Supplement Plan F or G might be a better choice for you than Supplement Plan C. Those two plans cover excess charges, so you won’t have to worry about asking.
Below shows an example of how an Excess charge works:
Barabara purchased a Supplement Plan C. Most of her doctors are participating Medicare doctors so Barbara usually doesn’t pay any co-pays. Barabara sprained her wrist while cleaning her garage. She notices swelling on her wrist, so she visits an urgent care clinic for an X-ray. The clinic does not accept Medicare assignment rates, but chooses to bill an excess charge. The fee for the X-ray is normally $40 but at this clinic there is a 15% excess charge, bringing the cost to $46. Since Barbara’s Supplement Plan C does not cover excess charges, Barbara will owe the $6.00 difference to the urgent care clinic.
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are sold by private insurance companies, so premiums may vary. However, every Medigap Plan C policy must include the same basic benefits.
Again, Supplement Plan C has benefits very similar to Plan F except for the Part B Excess charges. If not having the coverage for excess charges worries you, then you might consider Plan F or G.
Effective January 1, 2020: Be aware that if you become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to buy Plan C. If you already have Plan C, – you can generally keep your plan. You can apply to buy Plan C if you become eligible for Medicare before 2020.
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