Last Updated on
October 6, 2016
If you’re a Medicare beneficiary in North Dakota, adding on a Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) plan might help with some of the out-of-pocket expenses of Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). The standardized Medicare Supplement plans in North Dakota (as in most other states) offer different coverage levels, so it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with all available plans in your vicinity and select a plan that may suit your individual budget and health needs.
Medicare Supplement plans in North Dakota (as in other states) may help Medicare beneficiaries pay for out-of-costs associated with Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. In 47 U.S. states, including North Dakota, there are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans available, each identified by one of 10 letters (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N). Plans of the same letter name offer the same standard benefits, and plans offered by some companies may offer additional innovative benefits. Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have different types of standardized Medicare Supplement plans. Always keep in mind that you must already be enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, in order to join a Medicare Supplement plan in North Dakota (as in the rest of the United States).
You’re first eligible to join a Medicare Supplement plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which lasts for six months and begins the first day you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you can join any Medicare Supplement plan available in your area, and you can’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions (although waiting period may apply). If you miss your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you might still be able to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan, but you may be charged more for your insurance policy or denied coverage altogether, especially if you have health problems.
It’s important for you to understand that Medicare Supplement plans are designed to supplement, not replace, Original Medicare. This means you must remain enrolled in Original Medicare and continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium to keep your health insurance coverage. Because Medicare Supplement plans currently offered in North Dakota, like the rest of the United States, do not include prescription drug coverage, you may want to think about joining a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to get help paying for your prescription drug costs.
Before joining a Medicare Supplement plan, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the 10 types of Medicare Supplement plans that may be available in North Dakota. Here’s a quick overview of the benefits available under each type of plan. Remember, because benefits are standardized, plans of the same letter will offer the same coverage no matter which insurance company you purchase from (although premiums may vary by insurer and some companies may provide additional benefits).
In this chart, an “X” means the plan covers the service or item, while a blank cell means it isn’t covered. If the plan partly covers an item or service, the portion is indicated in the chart (for example, Medigap Plan K covers 50% of Medicare-approved hospice care insurance or copayments).
|Medicare Supplement Plans|
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C||D||F*||G||K||L||M||N|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional
365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
|Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X***|
|First three pints of blood||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care coinsurance||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A deductible||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||50%||X|
|Medicare Part B deductible||X||X|
|Medicare Part B ‘excess charges’||X||X|
|Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|Medicare Part B preventive care coinsurance||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Out-of-pocket limits apply**|
The plan that may work for you will depend on the level of coverage you need. If you’re looking for comprehensive benefits, Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the broadest level of coverage among the standardized Medigap plans. This plan covers almost 100% of Medicare-associated costs, with the exception of the Medicare Part B premium.
If you need a lot of outpatient services, such as frequent doctor visits, Medicare Supplement Plan N pays 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance and may be a good fit for you. However, you may need to pay up to a $20 copayment on some office visits and up to a $50 copayment on emergency room visits.
If you’re considering Medicare Supplement Plan K or Plan L, keep in mind that both plans have out-of-pocket limits that may change from year to year.
While Medigap benefits are standardized as described above, keep in mind that Medicare Supplement insurers may use different monthly premium structures, which can affect how much you pay for your coverage. In addition, because not every Medicare Supplement plan is sold in every location, this means that a resident of Fargo in Cass County may have a different selection of available plans than a resident of Bismarck in Burleigh County.
It may be a good idea to shop around for Medicare Supplement plans in your area to find a policy that may suit your needs. To start comparing plans right away, just type your zip code where indicated on this page.
For more information on Medicare in North Dakota, refer to the following pages:
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.