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Taking Care of Mom and Dad: The Basic Medigap Package

The benefits that make up Plan A and form the basis for all the other plans cover:

  • the Medicare Part A coinsurance amount for days 61 through 90 of hospitalization in each benefit period;
  • the Part A coinsurance amount for each of the lifetime reserve days;
  • 100 percent of Part A eligible hospital expenses, limited to a maximum of 365 days, after all Medicare Hospital benefits have been exhausted;
  • the reasonable cost of the first 3 pints of blood;
  • the 20 percent copayments for Medicare Part B services.

Medicare supplement policies may not use waivers to exclude, limit or reduce coverage or benefits for specifically named or described pre-existing diseases or physical conditions. The policies must be adjusted each year to reflect changes to Medicare deductibles or copayments. Most Medicare supplements pay nothing for services Medicare finds unnecessary, such as cosmetic surgery.

If your parents have health coverage before they become eligible for Medicare, their insurer must send them a notice of the availability of a Medicare supplement. If they have coverage under a group Medicare supplement policy, and the policy is terminated and not replaced, the insurance company must offer them an individual policy and a choice between a policy that continues the same benefits provided by the group policy or one that provides only the benefits required to satisfy the minimum standards required by their state.

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