A Medicare supplement plan can help you pay for some of the health care benefits that a regular Medicare health insurance plan does not cover. Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed to help people who are age 65 or older or who are disabled pay for medical care expenses. Learning the basics of what Medicare covers will help you decide what type of supplement plan you need.

Learn these basic concepts of Medicare before deciding on a Medicare supplement plan:

  • Medicare Part A: Part A of Medicare pays for hospital services while you are in the hospital, for a nursing care facility and for home health or hospice care. It will also pay for blood that you may have to have while in the hospital – all but the first three pints.
  • Medicare Part B: Your Medicare Part B pays for out-patient services such as clinical tests, outpatient hospital treatments, preventative health care including shots and other medical services.
  • Medicare Part D:  Medicare Part D is your prescription drug coverage.  If you purchase the Medicare Advantage health insurance plan, prescription drugs are covered. You can also purchase a stand-alone prescription plan. Your insurance company must be approved by Medicare to sell Medicare Part D coverage.

There are some important exclusions in Medicare coverage you should be aware of. You can purchase a Medicare supplement plan to help pay for these things that are not covered by your regular Medicare insurance.

  • Long-term care: Long-term care provided by a nursing home facility or home health care provider is not covered under your regular Medicare plan.
  • Dental care: There is no coverage for dental care through Medicare
  • Vision care: Regular Medicare does not pay for any vision services such as eye screening or prescription eye wear.
  • Daily living assistance: Some patients with long-term medical conditions need help with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing or help with walking. These expenses are not covered by your Medicare insurance policy.

After learning the basic coverage Medicare provides, you will be better informed to make  a decision about which Medicare supplement plan is right for you. If you are still unsure, an insurance specialist with experience in Medicare supplement insurance can help you find the right coverage.