Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Nebraska Medicare Supplement plans are private insurance policies available to work alongside Medicare in supplementing coverage that your traditional Medicare coverage does not. This includes coverage for out of pocket expenses related to copayments, coinsurance deductibles.
Most commonly, you will hear Medicare Supplement policies referred to as “Medigap.” Your Nebraska Medicare Supplement plans are policies provided by private insurance companies.
In the following, we will break down and explain answers to questions on how Nebraska “Medigap” plans work in conjunction with Medicare to help fill unaddressed financial gaps.
Nebraska Medicare Benefit Options
Original Medicare, Part A and Part B covers basic short-term hospital or nursing home care as well as medically necessary services and prevention care such as doctor’s appointments, ambulance services, and flu vaccines. Medicare Part A and B does not provide coverage for such things as long-term custodial care, hearing aid devices, and most dental care.
Medicare Part C
Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage or MA Plans, are policies offered through Medicare approved private companies.
Enrolling in Medicare Advantage still provides you with medicare insurance Part A and B coverage with most having the added benefit of additional options such as dental, vision, hearing and/or prescription drug coverage. Part C option may not be offered in every county of Nebraska.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D provides optional prescription drug coverage that can be added onto Original Medicare or can be included in your Medicare Advantage Plan.
Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as “Medigap”, is supplemental insurance provided by Nebraska-licensed private insurance companies.
Not all expenses such as copayments, deductibles and coinsurance are covered under Medicare. Medigap is provided to help in covering those health care costs that are not paid for by Medicare.
Medicare Part A includes:
- Hospitalization (Up to 60 days, semi-private room)
- Nursing Facility Admission
- Hospice Care
- Doctor’s Appointments
- Outpatient Care
- Laboratory Testing
- Outpatient Surgery
- Additional Services and Testing Deemed Medically Necessary by Your Physician
All benefits included with Original Medicare are covered at 80%. A Medigap plan can help to cover these remaining costs of these state health insurance.
Requirements for Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans
The qualifications for Medigap eligibility are that you must be age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. While you may enroll in Part B after your 65th birthday, to avoid an enrollment late penalty you will need to sign up during the enrollment period (IEP), also know as “Part B Late Penalty”.
Signing up for coverage after your IEP is still available, but will come with a monthly penalty added to your premium. This premium increase calculates out to 10% for each 12 month delay.
If you still have coverage under your employer or union-sponsored health care insurance plan, you can avoid a penalty by enrolling in Part B immediately when this coverage ends.
Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans are not available to people with Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans.
Eligibility for Medicare Disabled and Under 65
Carriers for Nebraska Medicare Supplement plans are not obligated to offer coverage to those below 65. Even if they meet Medicaid eligibility by being disabled and are already receiving benefits.
Though not required, some private insurance companies will still offer Medigap plans. We can help you find out which carriers offer these plans. Contact one of our agents at the number above to find the best available plan and pricing for your needs.
Enrolling in Nebraska Medicare Supplement Insurance
The ideal period to buy a supplemental Medicare policy is during the open-enrollment window. This window begins on the first day of the month of your 65th birthday and enrolled in Part B.
You have six months from those dates to purchase your policy. During open enrollment, the insurance company cannot turn you down for any medical conditions. You’re granted guaranteed issue.
This means that you cannot be refused a policy or charged any additional amount due to pre-existing illnesses, health conditions, or medications.
When this window expires, insurance companies may accept or decline a policy based on your health status. You may opt to delay enrollment into a supplement plan due to having group health coverage through an employer.
When the end of your employee group coverage occurs, you will have 63 days from loss of coverage to enroll for a Medicare Supplement policy.
Medicare Supplement Plans Rate Determination
Nebraska Medicare Supplement plans rates are determined three ways as detailed below:
- Community Rated or “non-age rated” – Premium pricing is the same rate for all enrollees regardless of age. Since age is not a determining factor in rate determination, premiums will not increase simple because of growing older. Premiums may go up with inflation or other factors
- Issue Age Rated or “entry age rated”– Premium pricing uses age at time of purchase to determine the rate for the enrollee. Once your premium has been set the rate will not increase as you get older. Premiums may go up with inflation or other factors
- Attained Age Rated – Premiums prices are determined by age and increase each year as you get older. Initially this might be the least costly option for purchasing a policy. However, an attained age rated policy will eventually become the same cost as the Community or Issue age rated options.
Compare Medigap Coverage Options
In Nebraska, you can elect your Medicare Supplement plan from 10 options. The most common plan selection is Plan F, G, or N. Regardless of which insurance provider you elect coverage with or where you live within the state, your letter plan benefits will be the same.
For example, the same letter plan in Omaha can cost more or less then compared to the same letter plan in Lincoln, but the benefits will be the same.
- Medicare Plan F and G – Letter Plan F is an all inclusive option. Plan G is also broadly inclusive, but does not offer a yearly Part B deductible.
- Plan N – Offers similar benefits with lower rates. This plan does have copays for some services. Healthcare providers charging more than the Medicare allowance for Medicare-covered services will have to paid by the patient without reimbursement to the patient, also known as excess charges.
When considering your Medigap plan in Nebraska, be sure your plan includes the value of extra benefits that you’re likely to use frequently. Don’t choose a plan because it has lower rate with less coverage.
Medigap plans are designed to offer basic benefits that protect your finances against high doctor and hospital bills. The selection of the proper plan is imperative.
Most insurers also include some value-added services in a membership program. These might include benefits like discounts on dental or vision services and memberships in health clubs.
Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplements in Nebraska
Nebraska Medicare Advantage Plans replace your Original Medicare Parts A & B. If you elect to use a MA plan, it can not be used with Nebraska Medicare Supplement plans. The appeal of Medicare Advantage plans is the appearance of less expensive premiums.
However, most Medigap plan beneficiaries find that they end up paying less out of pocket expenses, making the Medigap plan option a far better choice compared to most Medicare Advantage plans.
Part D Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
Original Medicare and Medigap plans do not provide prescription drug coverage. Without enrolling in Part D prescription drug coverage, a Nebraska resident would have to pay all medication costs out of pocket.
To ensure you are covered for medical, hospitalization, prescription medication, deductibles as well as other healthcare related expenses, it is best to have a Medicare benefits package that includes Original Medicare Parts A & B, Medigap and a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
As with previous mentioned plans, it is extremely important to make enrollment a priority once eligible. Delayed enrollment will result in you having to pay a Part D penalty. The penalty is based on the number of months you go without enrolling in coverage.
We are here to assist you in understanding and selecting the best Nebraska Medicare Supplement plans, Medicare Advantage and/or Prescription Drug Plan. Our service is 100% free with no obligation.
Simply complete our brief rate form above or give us a call. We will compare rates on your behalf. We’ll inform you of the best plans provided by the top carriers in Nebraska.
Nebraska Medicare FAQ
How to apply for Medicare in Nebraska?
To qualify for Medicare, you must be a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. Disabled residents may be eligible for Medicare before age 65 if they receive Social Security disability benefits. If you meet these qualifications, then you may sign up for Medicare by one of these various avenues:
- Locate the closest Nebraska Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to visit in person
Visit and register online at www.SSA.gov
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1312, Monday thru Friday: 7AM to 7PM
Nebraska residents receiving Social Security benefits may be enrolled automatically once they reach age 65. Verification of enrollment should be done by calling the Social Security Department during your enrollment period.
Does Blue Cross Blue Shield offer Medicare Supplement Plans in Nebraska?
Yes, Medicare Supplemental insurance is offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska. These plans, like others offered through other insurance companies, are designed to assist in paying for coinsurance, copayment and deductibles. As a reminder, all insurance companies must provide the same benefits and coverage.
Is Mutual of Omaha a good Medicare Supplement insurance provider?
Mutual of Omaha is based in its namesake of Omaha, Nebraska. However, they’ve been providing insurance coverage around the state of Nebraska since 1909. In fact, Mutual of Omaha was one of the first insurance programs to offer Medigap plans when Medicare was signed into law in 1965.
This long standing history paired with strong reserves makes Mutual of Omaha a great choice when selecting a provider. If you choose to enroll in a Medicare supplement policy with Mutual of Omaha, you will have all the same standard benefits that any Medigap plan from any company provides.