An Overview of AARP Medicare Supplement Plans

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AARP Medicare supplement plans are offered through UnitedHealthcare Insurance. Eligible people use these plans to supplement their Medicare plan if they think that their plan may not provide all the health coverage they need. AARP has offered health plans for its group members for more than 50 years.

Benefits of AARP Medicare Plans 

There are many features and perks of AARP plans.

  • Coverage is offered nationwide.
  • You can use any doctor who accepts Medicare. This includes your current doctor.
  • You don't have to be referred to other doctors you may need to see.
  • Your policy can't be canceled or your premium increased because of health problems.
  • A supplement plan can be joined with Medicare Part D to help lower your prescription drug costs.

Note

Medicare supplement plans are also known as Medigap plans and are only offered by insurance companies.

A Look at AARP Supplement Plans

Here is a brief look at the AARP supplement plans offered by UnitedHealthcare. Note that exact coverage, coinsurance, copays, and deductibles may vary by state. There are quite a few plans to choose from:

  • Plan A
  • Plan B
  • Plan C
  • Plan F
  • Plan G
  • Plan K
  • Plan L
  • Plan N

Note

All figures for the plans listed are taken from a zip code in North Carolina, so your deductibles may vary based on where you live. These figures are listed as examples only. If you need specific information, you can enter your zip code on AARP's website and view the costs for your area.

Plan A

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A:

  • You must pay the Part A deductible of $1,556 for the first 60 days of hospitalization. This plan includes semiprivate room and board and normal nursing costs.
  • The plan pays the $389 per day that Medicare does not cover for days 61 to 90. Days 91 and beyond are covered at $778 per day while using your 60 lifetime reserve days.
  • All eligible costs that Medicare would not otherwise cover are paid for an added 365 days once the lifetime reserve days are used. You must pay out of your own pocket for all costs that had been covered by Plan A or Medicare after those 365 days have passed.
  • The first three pints of blood you receive if you need a blood transfusion are covered. It also covers any copay or coinsurance that Medicare may require for outpatient drugs or inpatient respite care during hospice care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B:

  • Medicare pays about 80% of your healthcare costs after you pay the $233 Part B deductible. Plan A pays the remaining 20%. These include doctor's services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests, blood, and durable medical equipment either in or outside of a hospital. It includes outpatient care.

Plan B

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A:

  • Pays the $1,556 deductible for Part A for the first 60 days of hospitalization. It then acts like Plan A.
  • Pays the $389 per day that Medicare doesn't cover for days 61 to 90. For days 91 and beyond, Plan B pays $389 per day while using the 60 lifetime reserve days. Plan B will keep paying 100% of eligible costs for 365 days after the lifetime reserve days are used. You must pay for all costs out of your own pocket after that period.
  • Covers the cost of a skilled nursing facility for the first 20 days if you've been in the hospital for at least three days and enter an approved facility within 30 days of leaving the hospital. Plan B pays up to $194.50 per day for skilled nursing care for days 21 to 100. You must pay for all skilled nursing care costs after day 100.
  • Covers the first three pints of blood if you ever need a transfusion. For hospice care, it covers any copays and coinsurance Medicare may require for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B:

  • Medicare pays about 80% of your healthcare costs after you pay the $233 Part B deductible. Plan B pays the remaining 20%. These include doctor's services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests, blood, and durable medical equipment either in or outside of a hospital. It includes outpatient care.

Plan C

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A:

  • Covers the Part A deductible of $1,556 for the first 60 days, $389 per day for days 61 to 90, and $778 per day for days 91 and beyond while using 60 lifetime reserve days. Once lifetime reserve days have been used, 100% of eligible costs are covered for 365 days more.
  • Covers up to $194.50 a day for days 21 to 100 of care at a skilled nursing facility. You must pay for all skilled nursing care costs out of your own pocket after day 100.
  • Covers the first three pints of blood if you ever need a transfusion. It covers any copay or coinsurance Medicare may require for outpatient drugs or inpatient respite care during hospice care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B:

  • Covers the $233 Part B deductible, then covers about 20% of the healthcare costs left over after Medicare pays about 80%.
  • Covers the first three pints of blood, the $233 Part B deductible, and then 20% of the costs left over after Medicare pays about 80%.
  • Covers the $233 Part B deductible for durable medical equipment, then 20% of the costs left over after Medicare pays about 80%.
  • Covers 80% of the costs deemed necessary after you've paid the first $250 in a calendar year for emergency care during the first 60 days of travel outside the U.S. This is subject to a lifetime cap of $50,000.

Plan F

Plan F is the broadest supplement plan UnitedHealthcare offers. This plan covers the same items Plan C covers. However, the one difference is that it covers 100% of Part B excess healthcare cost charges above the approved amounts.

Plan G

Plan G covers nearly everything that Plan C covers. However, there are a few differences. In Plan G, you pay the $233 Part B deductible for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Blood
  • Durable medical equipment

The plan also pays 100% of the Part B excess charges above the approved amounts, In contrast, Plan C requires you to pay 100% of the Part B excess charges.

Plan K

Plan K is much like Plan C, but it pays only 50% rather than 100% of certain costs. It has an out-of-pocket limit ($6,220 for 2021). Once you reach it, the plan will cover 100% of your covered medical expenses for the rest of the calendar year.

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A:

  • Plan K pays only 50% (or $778) of the $1,556 Part A deductible. It pays up to $97.25, instead of $194.50, per day for days 21 to 100 for care at a skilled nursing facility.
  • It pays only 50% of the cost of the first three pints of blood if you need a transfusion. For hospice care, it pays only 50% of any copay or coinsurance for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B:

  • Unlike Plan C, Plan K does not pay the $233 Part B deductible. It also pays for about 10%—as opposed to about 20% for Plan C—of the approved amounts for healthcare costs that Medicare most often pays at 80%.
  • These costs include being treated by doctors, inpatient, outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, tests, blood, and durable medical equipment.

Note

Unlike other Medigap plans, Plan K pays for the rest of the approved costs for preventive care. Medicare most often pays for 75% or more of preventive care for services covered by Medicare.

Plan L

Plan L is much like Plan C but pays only 75% rather than 100% of certain costs. Like Plan K, it also has an out-of-pocket maximum ($3,110). However, after meeting the limit, the plan pays 100% of your covered medical expenses for the remainder of the calendar year.

Hospital Services for Medicare Part A:

  • Plan L pays only 75% (or $1,167) of the $1,556 Part A deductible. It pays up to $145.86 per day for care at a skilled nursing facility, instead of $194.50, for days 21 to 100.
  • It pays only 75% of the cost of the first three pints of blood if you need a transfusion and pays only 75% of any copay or coinsurance for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care if you need hospice care.

Medical Services for Medicare Part B:

  • Unlike Plan C, Plan L does not pay the $233 Part B deductible. It also pays for about 15%—as opposed to about 20% for Plan C—of the approved amounts for healthcare costs that Medicare should pay at 80%. These costs include doctor services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, tests, blood, and medical equipment.

Note

Like Plan K, Plan L pays for the remainder of the approved amounts for preventive care. Medicare should pay for 75% or more of preventive benefits for Medicare-covered services.

Plan N

Plan N differs from Plan G in two ways. Instead of paying 20% of the approved amounts for Part B remaining approved medical expenses (which Medicare usually pays 80% of), Plan N pays costs that are more than $20 per office visit and $50 per emergency room visit. The $50 copay may be waived if you are admitted to a hospital, and the ER visit is covered by Medicare Part A.

Plan N also pays nothing toward Part B excess charges above the approved amounts, compared with Plan G's 100% coverage.

Eligibility Requirements 

You can enroll in Medicare up to three months before your 65th birthday. You're required to be enrolled in Parts A and B to be eligible for Medicare supplemental coverage.

You don't have to do anything extra to be enrolled in Medicare if you receive Social Security benefits. The open enrollment period for buying a Medigap plan lasts six months, and begins the month you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. You must also be at least 65.

An insurer may not charge you more for a Medigap plan during the open enrollment period than it would charge a person who didn't have a preexisting condition, even if you have a preexisting health concern.

Is an AARP Plan Right for You?

An AARP plan may be the thing you need to help with your healthcare costs if you're concerned about the cost of copays, coinsurance, and deductibles not covered by Medicare. You must first become an AARP member to enroll in AARP supplemental plans. You can fill out the AARP application online

You can contact AARP if you have more questions about AARP's supplement plans.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. "AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Insured by UnitedHealthcare."

  2. Medicare.gov. "How To Compare Medigap Policies."

  3. Medicare.gov. "When Can I Buy Medigap?"

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