A Medicare SELECT policy is a Medigap policy that limits your coverage to a network of doctors and hospitals. SELECT plans negotiate rates with a network of providers. These providers charge less for the services they provide to members.
While this kind of policy may offer you slightly lower premiums, you should think carefully before you purchase one. Be aware of the following things:
- Many hospitals and treatment facilities will be out of network. Your Medicare SELECT supplement will not cover the gaps in Medicare for treatment received at those places. You must receive care from the network except for emergencies.
- SELECT plan member need to get referrals from their primary care doctor in order to see specialists or be treated at a network hospital.
- Medicare SELECT policies function like an HMO or managed care plan. They are only offered in certain areas. You should confirm that any SELECT policy you choose has your preferred hospitals in its network before enrolling.
How Do Medicare SELECT plan differ from other Medicare Supplements?
Medicare SELECT plans are not offered everywhere. It is up to the individual insurance companies to decide whether they will offer SELECT policies and where they will offer them.
Since SELECT policies have networks you must use (except in emergencies), they may have more affordable monthly premiums than standard Medicare supplements.You should always check out the plan’s network to make sure that your providers participate.
Other than that, SELECT plans function the same way that standard plans do. They also come in the same 10 standardized options that regular supplements come in – letters A – N.
How to Enroll in Medicare SELECT
If you find a Medicare SELECT policy that you like, you can enroll in this policy the same way that you enroll in any other standard Medicare supplement.
Medicare’s booklet about choosing a Medigap policy explains that the best time to enroll in a Medicare supplement is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment. This window begins on your Part B effective date and lasts for 6 months. If you enroll during this window, you cannot be turned down for any pre-existing health conditions or be rated-up for them.
You can choose any Medicare Supplement (including SELECT plans) and be guaranteed to be accepted as long as you live in the plan’s service area and can pay the premiums.
Is Medicare SELECT right for you?
Our agency helps thousands of people with their Medicare enrollment each and every year. We can help you review your options for SELECT plans in your area. We’ll review the potential savings in premium and then help you determine whether the savings is worth the network hassle of a SELECT plan.
Something to ask yourself are: that we feel is worth the small savings. If you have an illness, do you want to be able to treat at the hospital of your choice? For instance, here in Texas, M.D. many people recognize M.D. Anderson Hospital for cutting-edge cancer treatments. Many people want to be able to choose that hospital if they develop cancer. If they have a SELECT policy that doesn’t include that hospital, their Medigap policy will not cover treatment at that hospital.
Choosing a Medicare SELECT plan can limit your access to the hospital that has the best record of treating certain illnesses or injuries. Think carefully before choosing.
Has another agent quoted Medicare SELECT for you? Give us a call to discuss it before enrolling. We’ll help you with the pros and cons. We can also show you which companies have the strongest financial ratings and lowest rate increase histories.