Do All Doctors Accept Medicare Supplement Plans?

Medicare Supplement Plans are an undeniably great way to save money on the medical expenses you incur throughout the year. Having one can help you save hundreds of dollars, especially if you have a chronic condition that requires a lot of medical attention. One important question, though, is if Medicare Supplement Plans are accepted by all doctors, since seeing a doctor who does not accept your plan could mean a huge bill that you have to pay out-of- pocket. And if you’re living on a fixed income, that’s the last thing you need! Find out just how Medicare Supplement Plans work with all doctors. 

How Medicare Supplement Plans Work

illustration of hand on a calculator with paper and money stack in the background
Medicare Supplement Plans will cover the 20% coinsurance that Original Medicare does not cover.

There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans; each plan offers different coverage and rates. You’ll pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Supplement Plan, and in return, the plan pays most of your expenses that are not covered by Medicare Parts A & B. For example, if you have a $4,000 ambulance bill and have already met your annual Medicare Part B deductible, Medicare Part B will pay 80% of the bill. This leaves you to pay the remaining 20%, $800, out-of-pocket. But if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan that covers Part B copayments and coinsurance, it will pay the remaining $800.

In general, all Medicare Supplement plans cover at least part of:

  • Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles
  • Skilled nursing facility costs after you run out of Medicare-covered days
  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up)
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments
  • Part B excess charges
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments
  • Blood (first 3 pints)

Some will cover:

  • Foreign travel emergencies (up to plan limits)

Do All Doctors Accept Medicare Supplement Plans?

Now onto the really important part! You should be aware that not all doctors accept Medicare Supplement Plans, so before you purchase one, make sure that your doctor and other providers will accept it. Fortunately, though, 95-96% of doctors and hospitals will accept Medicare Supplement Plans: the general rule is that if the doctor accepts Medicare assignment, they will automatically accept your Medicare Supplement Plan, regardless of your insurance company. doctor writing on a piece of paper

The important thing is not to fall into the trap that some people fall into, and assume that all doctors accept Medicare. Some do not, and those who don’t accept Medicare will bill you up to 15% more than Medicare’s approved amount, and you will have to pay for all of their services out-of-pocket. 

If you are interested in finding out if the doctors or providers you see accept Medicare, speak to an EZ agent. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the country, and can make sure that the doctor you want to see is covered, so you don’t end up with any extra or unexpected fees. We will also compare all available Medicare Supplement Plans in your area and find the one that is right for you. No obligation, and no hassle. To get free instant quotes on plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code on the side, or to speak to a local licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

Does Medicare Cover Knee Replacement Surgery?

With age comes wear and tear to your body. Knees are especially vulnerable to damage because of how much use they get over the years. As you age, the cartilage in your knees wears down, and can become almost non-existent, causing arthritis and leaving bone to painfully rub on bone as you move. Cartilage loss in your knees can often only be treated with knee replacement surgery. This type of surgery is very common, especially for people over 60: there are over 750,000 knee replacement surgeries performed annually in the United States, and over 3 million Americans have  knees that have been replaced. If your doctor recommends knee surgery, it is important to know just how much Medicare will cover.

What The Surgery Involves

x-ray of a knee with plates in it
During knee surgery, you can receive metal implants or plates between the bones.

Knee replacement surgery, also called knee arthroplasty or total knee replacement, is done to resurface any damage caused by arthritis. During this surgery, doctors:

  • Remove all damaged cartilage.
  • Use metal and plastic parts to cap the ends of the bones that form the knee joint along the kneecap, so that the two bones are not rubbing against each other when in use.
  • Put metal replacement implants into the knee.
  • Resurface the kneecap. 

Most patients are able to resume normal daily activities within 6 weeks after surgery, and drive within 3 to 6 weeks. Depending on the surgery, though, it can take as long as 6 months or up to a year to fully recover. Even with the long recovery time, most patients who have had the surgery say that it was worth it. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 90% of people who have had knee replacement surgery experience significantly reduced pain and stiffness, and an increase in vitality. 

What Does Medicare Cover? 

Medicare Parts A and B will cover knee replacement surgery as long as your doctor considers it medically necessary. Part A will cover in-hospital treatment, including the surgery and any inpatient recovery time, after you have met your Part A deductible of $1,408. If you are in the hospital for less than 60 days, then you will not have to pay a copay for your stay. red 80 percent signPart B will cover medical costs before the surgery, any follow-up appointments, and outpatient visits. If you need physical therapy afterwards, Medicare Part B will cover the sessions at 80%. In addition, if you need any durable medical equipment, such as a walker or a cane after your surgery, Medicare Part B will cover the cost, again at 80%. You will be responsible for your part B deductible of $198 and 20% coinsurance.

Can A Medicare Supplement Plan Help?

Medicare Supplement Plans help you pay for your 20% coinsurance, co-payments, and, in some cases,  your Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles. Different plans offer different coverage and price points, but having a Medicare Supplement Plan will most likely save you hundreds of dollars a year, if not more. There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, so you are sure to find the right plan for your specific needs. If you do not have a Medicare Supplement Plan, then you should consider signing up for one to save money on medical costs, and to have more services covered than are generally covered by Original Medicare.hundred dollar bills spread out on a table.

If you have any questions about Medicare coverage options, or about the Medicare Supplement Plans available in your area, EZ can help. One of our licensed insurance agents will compare all available Medicare Supplement Plans in your area, and will find the one that best fits your medical and financial needs. To explore your Medicare Supplement Plan options, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak directly to a Medicare agent, call 888-753-7207.

Preparing For Medicare Open Enrollment: Getting Great Coverage For 2021

Medicare Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7) is right around the corner, so it’s time to start reviewing your current plan. Is it working for you? If you’re not totally satisfied with your coverage, then you might want to look for a better plan that has everything you need and saves you money. One of the best ways you can get the best coverage for next year is to add a Medicare Supplement Plan to your Original Medicare plan

calculator with the word cost on it with a hospital bed in the background and money below the calculator
Healthcare costs are on the rise, and with Medicare only covering 80% of costs, the rest that you pay out-of-pocket can add up quickly.

Why A Medicare Supplement Plan?

Medicare Part B only pays for 80% of your medical costs, leaving you to pay 20% of all of your bills out-of-pocket. 20% might not sound like a lot, but if you are living on a fixed income, living with a chronic medical condition, or need to see the doctor regularly, then those bills can really add up. A Medicare Supplement Plan will cover your 20% share, which can save you hundreds of dollars a year! All you have to do is pay a low monthly premium, and let your plan to take care of the rest.

Healthcare and out-of-pocket costs are on the rise, so it’s better to be fully insured in case of an emergency or accident. Having a Medicare Supplement Plan means you won’t have to worry about setting money aside to pay any unexpected bills that you may accumulate. 

There are 10 different types of Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, with each plan offering different coverage and different prices, so you’re sure to find one that fits your financial and medical needs. Medicare Supplement Plans cover:

hundred dollar bills in a glass jar
A Medicare Supplement Plan will cover the costs Original Medicare does not cover, which will save you hundreds of dollars.
  • Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles
  • Skilled nursing facility costs after you run out of Medicare-covered days
  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • Part B excess charges
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Blood transfusions for up to three pints of blood

Some will cover:

  • Foreign travel emergencies (up to plan limits)

Another advantage to these plans is that there is no network, so you can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare assignment.

How To Add A Medicare Supplement Plan

silhouette of a person standing in front of 3 arrows pointing in 3 different directions
You have different options during Medicare Open Enrollment Period to add a Medicare Supplement Plan.

With Medicare Open Enrollment approaching, you’re probably getting a lot of information in the mail about your plan. If all of this has you rethinking your coverage, then now is the time to add a Medicare Supplement Plan. These are your options during this period:

  • If you currently have Original Medicare, you can choose to stay on your Original Medicare plan and add a Medicare Supplement Plan to fill the gaps. You may not be eligible for guaranteed issue, but the sooner you apply for a plan, the better.  
  • If you are on a Medicare Advantage Plan, but are considering switching over to Original Medicare, then Open Enrollment is the best time – you’ll be able to add a Medicare Supplement Plan with guaranteed issue, meaning you won’t have to face the underwriting process. 
  • If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare and your employer-based coverage is ending, you can choose to add a Medicare Supplement Plan for extra coverage.

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is the time to look at all your options so you can save money in the coming year. You can choose to stay with Original Medicare, or consider switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare while adding a Medicare Supplement Plan. A Medicare Supplement Plan will provide you with more coverage, while putting more money back into your wallet. This will ensure that you have great coverage next year, plus you’ll have peace of mind knowing that all you have to pay (aside from your Medicare Part B deductible) is one low monthly premium, and all of your medical costs will be covered.

If you want the best Medicare Supplement Plan from one of the top-rated Medicare Supplement companies, EZ can help. Our agents work with all of the top-rated Medicare Supplement companies, and we’ll compare all available plans in your area within minutes. We’ll find you the best plan with the most savings. To get free Medicare Supplement Plan quotes, enter your zip code in the bar above, or if you prefer to speak to an agent directly, call 888-753-7207. Our agents are ready to help you get the best coverage for next year!

Does Medicare Cover Ambulance Rides?

Ambulance rides are not cheap, they can range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. During a medical emergency, the last thing you want to worry about is if Medicare will cover the large ambulance bill. Thankfully, Medicare does cover ambulance rides so you don’t have to worry about anything but receiving the care you need. In fact, Medicare pays over $5 billion for ambulance service claims every year. However, to receive these benefits, there are stipulations you should be aware of first.front of a red ambulance on the road

Eligibility Under Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers emergency ambulance services, and in some cases will also cover non-emergency services. An emergency is considered any situation in which your health is in serious danger. If you schedule your ambulance ride, then it is not considered an emergency. To receive coverage from Medicare:

  • The ambulance service must be medically necessary, and the only way to safely transport you to the hospital. 
  • The transportation supplier (meaning nursing care facility or any provider asking for ambulance services) must meet Medicare ambulance requirements. 
  • The reason for the trip must be to receive a Medicare-covered service during transportation or to return from receiving Medicare-covered care.

    illustration of doctors hand writing a prescription
    if it is not an emergency, then your doctor must provide a written order ahead of your scheduled trip.

If the situation is not an emergency, then ambulance services will only be covered if:

  • You are confined to your bed and unable to get up.
  • You need medical services during the trip that are only available in an ambulance. 
  • You live in a skilled nursing facility and your doctor has written an order for an ambulance. You might be required to produce the order within 48 hours of the transport.
  • Your doctor deems that ambulance transport is medically necessary and provides a written order ahead of your scheduled trip. 

Be aware that if you ask first-responders to take you to a hospital or facility other than the one that is closest to you, Medicare will only cover the cost of a ride to the nearest hospital or facility. You will be responsible for paying the rest of the bill out-of-pocket.

Ambulance Flights

Medicare will also cover other modes of emergency transportation, including ambulance flights. In order for Medicare to cover an ambulance flight, a ground ambulance must be unable to make it to your location. Medicare will also approve a flight if a ground ambulance can make it to the location but the situation is unsafe for the crew. 

invoice next to a hand with money in it

Your Costs

As with many services, Medicare Part B covers 80% of ambulance services, leaving you to pay 20% coinsurance out-of-pocket after you meet your Part B deductible ( $198 in 2020). It is illegal for ambulance companies to apply excess charges to your bill. 

Some Medicare Supplement Plans will cover your coinsurance payments, so if you have certain letter plans, then ambulance rides will be covered 100%. 

Ambulance rides are mostly covered by Medicare, but if you are worried about coinsurance payments, then consider a Medicare Supplement Plan. These plans mean that you won’t have to face Medicare bills alone, allowing you peace of mind, while at the same time putting money back in your wallet. There are different types of plans to choose from, with different coverage options at different price points. If you’re unsure where to begin, EZ can give you free quotes and a breakdown of all the plans. One of our agents will compare all of your options and find the perfect plan for your budget and needs. To get your free Medicare Supplement Plan quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent, call 888-753-7207.

A Medicare Supplement Plan Could Be Saving You Money Right Now!

Medicare provides peace of mind. It’s great to know that it’ll be there after you retire and no longer have employer-based health insurance. But Medicare Part B only pays for 80% of your medical costs, which leaves you with 20% of the bill, in addition to any unmet deductibles or copays. That 20% may not seem like a lot, but if you’re living on a fixed income as many seniors are, it can add up. 

Luckily, when you sign up for Medicare Parts A and B, you have the opportunity to sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan as well. These plans provide coverage for the out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover. Medicare Supplement Plans offer you protection from losing your assets to large medical bills.

blood shaped blood bag with a connecting tube.
Medicare Supplement Plans cover up to three pints of blood for a blood transfusion.

What Medicare Supplement Plans Offer

Some of the reasons to choose a Medicare Supplement Plan are:

  • Helps pay a portion of the approved expenses that you are left to pay out-of-pocket. This includes:
    • Copays
    • Coinsurance
    • Deductibles
    • Blood transfusions for up to three pints of blood
    • Hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) deductible
    • Medicare Part B (medical insurance) deductible
    • Part B excess charges
    • Medical costs incurred while traveling outside of the U.S.
    • Out-of-pocket limits
  • There is no network, so you can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare assignment. 
  • Coverage will automatically renew each year (unless you want to switch plans)
hand holding a paper that says "medical bill" on it with dollar signs on the bottom circled in red.
Older people are more vulnerable to accidental falls and broken hips, and when these happen it can mean big medical bills.

Why You Should Have One

Life is unpredictable, and it doesn’t get any less unpredictable as you get older. Older people are more vulnerable to accidental falls and broken hips, and when these happen it can mean big medical bills. Health care and out-of-pocket costs are on the rise, and you could fall into debt if you had an accident or were diagnosed with a serious illness. Having a Medicare Supplement Plan means not having to worry about that happening to you. It also means not having to set aside money to pay for 20% of any bills you accumulate; you just have to budget for your monthly premiums.

One thing to remember is that you need to sign up for a plan during your Medicare Supplement Plan Open Enrollment Period (the 6-month period that starts the first day you are 65 and enrolled in Part B). Otherwise, you will need to undergo the medical underwriting process, and may end up with higher premiums.

Which Plan Is Right for You?

The cost and coverage of Medicare Supplement Plans vary from one letter plan to another. Some have high deductibles with lower monthly premiums, while some offer more coverage for a little more money per month. There are 10 different types of plans to choose from, so in order to choose the coverage you need for a price that works for you, you need to research and compare all the plans.

Comparing all the plans can take a long time and you might be wondering where to even start. That is why we created our business- to help you compare and sign up for plans at no cost to you. We want to help you make an informed decision, so you can get the best care at the best price. To get your free quotes, enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak directly to a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.