Medicare Supplement Insurance: A Passing Right?

Pass rights – You’ve got your driver’s license, you’ve gotten old enough to drink, got married, have children, you turned 40, then 50, and qualified for United of Omaha, now you’re 65 and eligible for Medicare. Embrace it and the challenges that come with it.

Shopping for a Medicare supplement plan is one of those challenges – but it’s really not that difficult.  It is easy to get a 2020 plan at

If you are over 65 years old and you do not have a retiree health plan from a former employer or union, or a state pension plan, and you are not on Medicaid for medical care, then you have probably had the pleasure of researching your options.

It is especially difficult if you look into this insurance when you are 65 years old for the first time. If you’ve been through this before, you’ll know what I mean when I say that your mailbox is nested with the marketing materials of all providers of Medicare supplement plans and all educational materials from Social Security and Medicare.

You’ll receive brochures and outlines of coverage and applications and dozens of “selecting a Medigap Policy” guides (Medigap is another term for this insurance) and Medicare with notifications and requests to send your information back on a card.

Perhaps even worse are the phone calls and the unexpected visitors at the door who want to help you understand why their plans are the best.

It’s one of the worst kind of information overload you’ll ever experience. You will have a stack of Medicare and Medicare Supplement tips about 1 foot tall. They start about 6 months before your 65th birthday and will not stop until several months later. Even after the age of 65, you will be bombarded with offers from various companies towards the end of the year. Many of them seem a bit too good to be true – and they usually are.

Even more frustrating is that you have to forget everything that you knew about health insurance before the age of 65.

You see, these insurance policies have no medical networks. They are not PPOs or HMOs. If you get a Medicare supplement, you do not have to worry about your doctor taking or even preferring a Medicare supplement plan for another. Your network is the Medicare network and the doctor’s office is makes medical claims with them – not the Medicare supplementary insurance company. Once Medicare approves the claim, it will inform your Medicare Supplement insurance provider that they will have to pay their part. So, the Medicare Supplement insurance company can not make a decision if they want to pay a claim or not. If Medicare agrees, they have to pay their part. If Medicare does not agree, the insurance company pays nothing.

In addition, the plans are standardized groups of benefits classified by plan letters. So, you could end up buying a plan F or plan G or C. Regardless of which plan letter you go with it will work identically, regardless of which company you get it.

So, if you shop for your coverage, do not fret. Choose your plan, shop prices and buy.