Newsroom > Press Releases > Six Things Medicare Beneficiaries and Baby Boomers Should Know About Medicare Supplement Plans: PlanPrescriber Releases Tips

Six Things Medicare Beneficiaries and Baby Boomers Should Know About Medicare Supplement Plans: PlanPrescriber Releases Tips

MAYNARD, MA--(Nov 7, 2011) - Today PlanPrescriber (, a wholly-owned subsidiary of eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), released a "Top 6 List" of things people should know if they're considering enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan during the 2012 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.
The Medicare AEP enrollment period opened on October 15, 2011 and runs through December 7, 2011. In most cases, Medicare beneficiaries who have a Medicare Supplement plan and wish to make changes to their Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for 2012 will only have an opportunity to make these changes during the AEP.
As baby boomers begin turning 65 and become eligible for Medicare, an increasing number will try to make sense of the numerous Medicare coverage options available to them, including the different types of Medicare Supplement plans and the specific Medicare enrollment periods for Medicare Supplement plans. Many will struggle to find the Medicare Supplement plan best suited to their personal needs.
Here is a short list of the six things people who are new to Medicare should remember about Medicare Supplement plans:
1. Medicare Supplement plans are subject to periodic rate increases: Medicare Supplement plans A-N are standardized (except in states: MA, MN, WI), and all Medicare Supplement plans with the same letter offer the same benefits, regardless of the state you live in or the insurance carrier providing the coverage. Put another way, a Plan N from "insurer 1" must provide the same benefits as a Plan N from "insurer 2." But, medical costs, medical inflation and innumerable other issues impact the cost of Medicare Supplement plans, which means the monthly fees you pay for a plan will increase over time. If a plan premium increases to a level you can no longer afford, beneficiaries do have the option to change to a Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage annual enrollment period, which runs from October 15th to December 7th in 2011.
2. Expect higher monthly premiums: The basic "original Medicare" coverage will cost $99.90 each month and is deducted from a person's social security check. To add a supplement plan requires an additional monthly premium, and the average monthly premium for the most comprehensive type of Medicare Supplement plan, Plan F, has been estimated to be approximately $194 per month1. That premium must be paid in addition to the $99.90 beneficiaries are already paying. However, there are Medicare Supplement plans available that cost less each month. You can compare Medicare Supplement plans and their monthly premiums on web sites like
3. Expect fewer additional costs if you get sick: While you're likely to pay more each month for a Medicare Supplement plan, they typically provide access to a larger network of providers and, in most cases, have lower out-of-pocket limits than Medicare Advantage plans. The maximum limit for out-of-pocket expenses allowed by health reform for a Medicare Advantage plan is $6,700. By comparison, original Medicare does not have an out-of-pocket limit. The Supplement plans with the richest benefits, typically Plan F, will cover nearly all of your Medicare-approved medical costs.
4. Prescription drugs are not covered: Unlike most Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans do not include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. In order to have prescription drug coverage with a Medicare Supplement plan, you'll need to sign up for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan. You can find and compare stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans in your area on a web site like
5. It can be difficult to change a Medicare Supplement plan: Medicare Supplement plans have what's called an initial enrollment period, which occurs in the first 6 months after you enroll in Medicare Part B and are 65 or older. During that time, you can enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan and not worry about being declined because of your medical history. But, if you attempt to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan after the initial enrollment period, your application for coverage can be declined after the insurance company reviews your medical history.
6. Travel benefits: If you travel outside of the United States, there are several Medicare Supplement plans that cover the cost of medical services you receive while you're in another country. Medicare beneficiaries who live in two different states at different times of the year (often called "snowbirds"), can also feel confident that their Medicare supplement plan covers the cost of their care in both states.
PlanPrescriber (, a wholly-owned subsidiary of eHealth, Inc., is a leading provider of comparison tools and educational materials for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Supplement insurance products. Medicare beneficiaries can take advantage of PlanPrescriber's no cost, no obligation online advisor tools by logging on to PlanPrescriber is a tool designed to help Medicare recipients find a Medicare plan that covers their specific medical and prescription drug needs at the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost.
About eHealth
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company's website,, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through eHealth's technology solutions (, eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealth provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides online tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options through ( and eHealthMedicare (
For more news and information about health insurance, health reform and Medicare, visit eHealth's consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.