Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington State
Medicare Supplement plans in Washington State help Medicare beneficiaries pay some of the health costs not covered by Original Medicare. Medicare Supplement plans cover deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. There’s a good chance that you will keep the Medigap plan you initially choose indefinitely, so it’s important to understand the outline of coverage for each Medicare Supplement plan in Washington State, the benefits offered and the way the insurance provider sets its rates.
Overview of Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington State
You buy Medicare Supplement plans from private companies. The 10 plans available plans are Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, Plan F, Plan G, Plan K, Plan L, Plan M and Plan N.
All ten plans pay all or part of the same primary benefits. The basic benefits are:
- hospital and hospice coinsurance or copayments from Part A
- coinsurance or copayments from Part B
- coinsurance for Medicare preventive care for Part B
- First three pints of blood Part A and B
Individual Medicare Supplement plans in Washington State may offer additional benefits coverage. Extra benefits include:
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Part A and B deductibles
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency
- Require an out-of-pocket yearly limit
Each Medicare Supplement plan letter is the same no matter which insurance company you buy your policy. Medigap rates, however, will vary depending on which insurance company handles your policy.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington State: Enrollment Statistics
Washington has more than 7.17 million residents living in 39 counties. Here are the five largest:
- King, 2.153 million
- Pierce, 859,400
- Snohomish, 789,400
- Clark, 471,000
- Spokane, 499,800
Of the state’s 7.17 million residents, about 12 percent are age 65 or older. The average retirement age in Washington is 64. Here are some other facts about Medicare in Washington State:
- Washington State has nearly 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries representing 17 percent of the population.
- Eighty-five percent have Medicare due to age.
- About 70 percent have Original Medicare; 30 percent have Medicare Advantage.
- Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan.
When Should I Apply for A Medicare Supplement Plan in Washington State?
To apply for a Medigap plans, you must meet the following conditions:
- Resident of Washington
- Be age 65
- Enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B
The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement plan in Washington State is within the first six months following your enrollment in Part B. During your Medigap Open Enrollment Period; you have certain protections, called guaranteed rights:
- Cannot deny your application.
- No health screenings or Underwriting process.
- Can’t be charged higher rates based on your health history or status.
Your guaranteed issue rights expire at the end of the six-month Medicare Supplement open enrollment period. Below are a few examples of special election periods with the same guaranteed issue rights:
- Loss of Medigap coverage because your carrier goes bankrupt or ends coverage
- Leaving an employer’s group health plan, or the group plan ends its coverage
- Moved out of the service area covered by your Medicare Supplement SELECT plan
- Your Medicare Advantage plan leaves Medicare, discontinues coverage in your area or you move from the coverage area
- Drop coverage or leave a Medicare Supplement plan because the company deceived you or did not follow regulations in some manner
You also have “trial” guaranteed rights in two situations:
- Dropped a Medigap policy to try a Medicare Advantage or Medicare SELECT plan and want to return to your Medigap plan within 12 months
- Chose a Medicare Advantage or PACE plan when you first joined Medicare Part A, and within 12 months you want to switch to Original Medicare
How Are Rates Calculated Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington State?
The private insurance companies selling Medicare Supplement plans in Washington State set their premiums. Not all carriers price their Medigap plans the same way, but they typically use one of three methods:
Monthly premiums are the same for everyone regardless of age.
Monthly rates are calculated based on your age when you buy your Medicare Supplement plans.
Rates are based on your current, or “attained” age. Medigap rates will increase as you get older.
State law requires insurance companies to use the community-rated method for pricing their Medicare Supplement plans in Washington State.
Can I Use My Washington State Medicare Supplement Plan In Other States?
The beauty of a Medicare Supplement plan is that it can be used anywhere in the country as long as the doctor you see or the healthcare facility you use accepts Medicare. Crossing state lines is not a problem because there are no preferred provider networks or referral requirements you have to meet. One of the primary benefits of a Medigap plan is that it gives you the freedom to seek the best care, whether it’s in Washington or Maine.
The Medicare Supplement plans are the same in 46 other states. This means that the outline of coverage for Plan F is the same in North Carolina as it is in Washington. Because the plans are standardized, you can keep your same plan as long as you stay enrolled in Original Medicare. Remember, though, that your premium amount might change in your new location.
How Do I Apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan in Washington State?
We realize that shopping for a Medicare Supplement plan can be confusing. That’s why we take our job seriously and do whatever we can do to help you find the best plan. We can help you compare quotes and provide reviews of the insurance companies.
To make an online Medigap plan comparison, just choose Washington State from the drop-down menu to get started. You can also call us at 888-414-4547 and talk with one of our Medicare specialists. Our Medicare experts can walk you through all of your options; they can even help you enroll over the phone.
Washington State Medicare Resources