An Overview of AARP Medicare Supplement Plans

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AARP Medicare Supplement Plans are provided through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. For seniors who are concerned that their Medicare plan may not provide all the health insurance coverage they need, these plans are available to supplement their Medicare coverage.

AARP has been offering health insurance plans for seniors through its nonprofit membership organization for more than 50 years.

Benefits of AARP Medicare Plans 

There are several features and advantages of AARP Medicare Supplement Plans.

  • Coverage provided for anywhere in the U.S.
  • You can use any doctor who accepts Medicare, including your current doctor
  • No referrals are necessary
  • Your policy can’t be canceled, or your premium increased, because of health problems
  • A supplement plan can be combined with Medicare Part D to help lower your prescription drug costs

Note

Medicare supplement plans are also known as Medigap plans.

AARP Medicare Supplement Plan Overview

Here is a brief overview of the AARP Medical Supplement Plans offered by UnitedHealthcare, which is part of UnitedHealth Group Inc. Note that specific coverage, co-insurance, co-payments, and deductibles may vary by state. 

There are several different plans:

  • Plan A
  • Plan B
  • Plan C
  • Plan F
  • Plan G
  • Plan K
  • Plan L
  • Plan N

See details about each plan and how it works with Medicare below.

Plan A

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A: With Plan A, you are responsible for the Part A deductible of $1,484 for the first 60 days of hospitalization. This plan includes semiprivate room and board and general nursing costs.

For days 61 to 90, the plan pays the $371 per day that Medicare does not cover. Days 91 and beyond are covered at $742 per day while using your 60 lifetime reserve days. Once the lifetime reserve days are used, Plan A continues to pay for all Medicare-eligible expenses that would not otherwise be covered by Medicare for an additional 365 days. After those additional days have passed, you are responsible for all expenses that had been covered by Plan A or Medicare.

Plan A covers the first three pints of blood you receive, as well as any co-pay or co-insurance Medicare may require for outpatient drugs or inpatient respite care during hospice care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B: After you pay your $203 Part B deductible, Plan A covers the 20% or so for medical services that Medicare generally pays at 80%. These include physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests, blood, and durable medical equipment provided either in or outside of a hospital, including outpatient treatment.

Plan B

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A: Plan B pays the $1,484 deductible for Part A for the first 60 days of hospitalization. It then acts like Plan A.

For days 61 to 90, Plan B pays the $371 per day that Medicare doesn't cover. For days 91 and beyond, Plan B pays $742 per day while using the 60 lifetime reserve days. After the lifetime reserve days are used, Plan B continues to pay 100% of Medicare-eligible expenses for an additional 365 days. After that period, you are responsible for all costs.

If you have been in the hospital for at least three days and enter a Medicare-approved facility within 30 days of leaving the hospital, Plan B covers the cost of a skilled nursing facility for the first 20 days. For days 21 to 100, Plan B pays up to $185.50 per day for skilled nursing care. After day 100, you are responsible for all skilled nursing care costs.

Plan B also covers the first three pints of blood and, for hospice care, any co-payment and co-insurance Medicare may require for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B: After you pay your $203 Part B deductible, Plan B covers the 20% or so for medical services that Medicare generally pays at 80%. These include physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests, blood, and durable medical equipment provided either in or outside of a hospital, including outpatient treatment.

Plan C

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A: Plan C covers the Part A deductible of $1,484 for the first 60 days, $371 per day for days 61 to 90, and $742 per day for days 91 and beyond while using 60 lifetime reserve days. Once lifetime reserve days have been used, 100% of eligible Medicare expenses are covered for an additional 365 days.

Plan C covers up to $185.50 a day for days 21 to 100 of care at a skilled nursing facility. After day 100, you are responsible for all skilled nursing care costs.

Plan C also covers the first three pints of blood you have to receive and any co-pay or co-insurance Medicare may require for outpatient drugs or inpatient respite care during hospice care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B: Plan C covers the $203 Part B Deductible. It then covers the 20% or so for medical services that Medicare generally pays at 80%.

For blood, it covers all costs of the first three pints, the $203 Part B deductible, and then 20% of the remainder of Medicare-approved amounts that Medicare pays at 80%.

For durable medical equipment, it covers the $203 Part B deductible and then 20% of the remainder of Medicare-approved amounts that Medicare pays at 80%.

Finally, after you've paid the first $250 in a calendar year for emergency care during the first 60 days of travel outside the U.S., Plan C covers 80% of the remaining medically necessary costs, up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000.

Plan F

Plan F is the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan available through UnitedHealthcare. This plan covers everything Plan C covers, plus 100% of Part B excess medical expense charges above the Medicare-approved amounts.

Plan G

Plan G does not cover one item Plan C covers, but it does cover one item Plan C doesn't cover: Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible of $203.

However, like Plan F, it covers 100% of Part B excess medical expense charges above the Medicare-approved amounts.

Plan K

Plan K is similar to Plan C, but it pays only 50% rather than 100% of certain costs.

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A: Plan K pays only 50%—or $742—of the $1,484 Part A deductible. Regarding care at a skilled nursing facility, it pays up to $92.75, instead of $185.50, per day for days 21 to 100.

It pays only 50% of the cost of the first three pints of blood. And for hospice care, it pays only 50% of any co-payment or co-insurance for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B: Unlike Plan C, Plan K does not pay the $203 Part B deductible. It also pays for about 10%—as opposed to about 20% for Plan C—of the Medicare-approved amounts for medical expenses that Medicare generally pays at 80%.

These expenses include physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests, blood, and durable medical equipment.

Note

Unlike other Medigap plans, Plan K pays for the remainder of Medicare-approved amounts for preventive benefits. Medicare generally pays for 75% or more of preventive benefits for Medicare-covered services.

Plan L

Plan L is similar to Plan C but pays only 75% rather than 100% of certain costs.

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A: Plan L pays only 75%—or $1,113—of the $1,484 Part A deductible. Regarding care at a skilled nursing facility, it pays up to $139.13, instead of $185.50, per day for days 21 to 100.

It pays only 75% of the cost of the first three pints of blood. And for hospice care, it pays only 75% of any co-payment or co-insurance for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B: Unlike Plan C, Plan L does not pay the $203 Part B deductible. It also pays for about 15%—as opposed to about 20% for Plan C—of the Medicare-approved amounts for medical expenses that Medicare generally pays at 80%. These expenses include physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests, blood, and durable medical equipment.

Note

Like Plan K, Plan L pays for the remainder of Medicare-approved amounts for preventive benefits. Medicare generally pays for 75% or more of preventive benefits for Medicare-covered services.

Plan N

Plan N differs from Plan G in only two ways: Instead of paying generally 20% of the Medicare-approved amounts for Part B medical expenses that Medicare generally pays at 80%, Plan N pays the balance other than a co-payment of as much as $20 per office visit and as much as $50 per emergency room visit. The $50 co-payment may be waived if you are admitted to a hospital and the emergency visit is covered by Medicare Part A.

Plan N also pays nothing toward Part B excess charges above Medicare-approved amounts, compared with Plan G's 100% coverage.

Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for Medicare supplemental coverage, you must already be on Medicare or turning 65. You can enroll for Medicare coverage up to three months before your 65th birthday.

If you already receive Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. The open enrollment period for buying Medigap insurance lasts six months and begins the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Even if you have a pre-existing medical condition, an insurer may not charge you more for Medigap insurance during the open enrollment period than it would charge someone without a pre-existing condition.

Is an AARP Supplemental Plan Right for You?

If you are worried about the expense of co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles not covered by Medicare, an AARP Medicare Supplement Plan may be the right solution for your insurance needs.

To enroll in AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, you must first become an AARP member. You can complete the AARP membership application online

If you have more questions about AARP’s Medicare Supplement Plan, you can contact AARP for more information. Call toll-free at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) or email member@aarp.org.