- Highmark is a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association member.
- Highmark offers Medicare supplement plans in three states: Delaware, West Virginia, and most parts of Pennsylvania.
- You can choose from among a variety Medigap plans, including high-deductible Plan F if you qualify.
Medicare helps cover many of your medical costs, but deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance costs can still add up.
That’s where Medicare supplement insurance, or Medigap, can come in. These policies are designed to lower your out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
Highmark is an insurance company that offers Medigap plans in specific states and areas.
Keep reading to find out where these plans are offered, what they include, and how much they may cost in 2021.
Highmark is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association of insurance companies. The associations are regional, and the regions that Highmark serves include:
- Pennsylvania (most counties)
- West Virginia
Each area may have a slightly different name for its Highmark plans. Examples include Highmark Blue Shield, serving central and southeastern Pennsylvania, or Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in some other parts of Pennsylvania.
Medicare requires insurance companies to sell standardized Medigap policies. This means that each plan offers the same basic benefits, no matter which company sells it.
The main differences are in the price of the plan and whether it’s offered in your area.
Highmark Medicare Supplement Plan A
This plan helps with costs, such as:
- Part A coinsurance up to 365 days
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments
- Part B coinsurance or copayments
It’s the most basic plan available, and every company that sells Medigap plans must offer it.
Highmark Medicare Supplement Plan B
Plan B offers slightly more coverage than Plan A by also paying for the Part A deductible. However, it might not be a good fit for those who travel internationally because it doesn’t offer a foreign travel benefit.
Highmark Medicare Supplement Plan C
If you qualified for Medicare after January 1, 2020, you’re no longer eligible to purchase Plan C. This is because Plan C covers the Part B deductible, which Medicare no longer allows.
If you were eligible for Medicare before 2020, however, you may keep Plan C or purchase it.
Highmark Medicare Supplement Plan D
Plan D covers most Medigap benefits, including foreign travel. However, it doesn’t cover the Part B deductible or Part B excess charges.
Highmark Medicare Supplement Plan F
Like Plan C, Medigap Plan F is no longer available if you qualified for Medicare after January 1, 2020. Formerly, Plan F provided the most comprehensive Medigap coverage and was often the most expensive plan.
If you were eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still purchase Plan F.
In addition to regular Plan F, Highmark offers a high-deductible version. High-deductible Plan F has a lower premium than many other plans, but your coverage doesn’t kick in until you’ve paid a deductible of $2,370 in 2021.
Highmark Medicare Supplement Plan G
Medigap Plan G is currently the most comprehensive coverage available to those who qualified for Medicare after January 1, 2020. It doesn’t cover the Part B deductible, but it does provide some amount of coverage for all the other services offered by Medigap.
Highmark Medicare Supplement Plan N
Plan N is a fairly comprehensive plan, although it doesn’t include Part B excess charges and may require copayments under Part B. However, the plan does pay for the Part B coinsurance.
At-a-glance plan comparison
The chart below can help you compare the differences in coverage among the Medigap plans.
|Plan A||Plan B||Plan C||Plan D||Plan F||Plan G||Plan N|
|Part A deductible||no||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up)||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Part B deductible||no||no||yes||no||yes||no||no|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Part B excess charges||no||no||no||no||yes||yes||no|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||no||no||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Blood (first 3 pints)||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Foreign travel exchange||no||no||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
Next, we’ll explain in more detail what each of these benefits mean for your healthcare coverage.
The following are examples of coverage under Highmark Medicare supplement plans.
Remember, this coverage is available only to people who have original Medicare. You cannot have Medicare Advantage and Medigap at the same time.
Part A benefits
Part A benefits usually involve hospital or inpatient care. Medigap may help supplement some of your Part A out-of-pocket costs by paying for coinsurance and hospital costs after you’ve used up the covered days in a benefit period.
Many plans also help pay for the Part A deductible and Part A hospice care coinsurance costs.
Part B benefits
Medicare Part B covers your outpatient medical care. Medigap plans can help pay for many of the Part B out-of-pocket expenses, depending on your plan. Examples include Part B coinsurance or copayments, which are usually 20 percent of the Medicare-approved cost for services.
Some plans (such as Plan F and Plan G) also cover the Part B excess charges. These are costs that a medical provider is allowed to charge beyond the Medicare-approved amount.
Foreign travel emergency treatment
Medicare beneficiaries who travel outside the United States may benefit from this type of Medigap coverage. This foreign travel medical benefit provides the following coverage:
- It pays for foreign travel emergency care if needed during the first 60 days of your trip and Medicare doesn’t cover the costs.
- It pays 80 percent of the costs for international medical care, provided you’ve met a $250 deductible.
- It pays up to $50,000 over your lifetime — but no more.
This benefit can provide peace of mind that if an emergency occurs when traveling abroad, you’ll be assured of reasonable healthcare costs.
Additional programs and savings
Highmark offers a plan called Whole Health Balance, which you may be able to add to your Medigap benefits.
This is an optional program that includes benefits such as dental, fitness, and hearing services. The plan is available for $34.50 per month.
The cost for Medigap plans can widely vary by your location, sex, and smoking status, among other factors. The table below shows some example monthly premium costs for Medigap plans in Highmark’s coverage areas.
|Charleston, WV||Pittsburgh, PA||Harrisburg, PA||Dover, DE|
|Plan F, high deductible||$28–$267||$32–$243||$28–$205||$28–$3,041|
You can search for available Highmark Medicare supplement plans through Medicare’s plan finder tool. Just enter your ZIP code, and Medicare will show you available plans in your area and how much each may charge.
You can also search Highmark’s pricing specifically by visiting the company’s website.
Medicare supplement insurance or Medigap is an optional supplemental policy to original Medicare (parts A and B). The policies are designed to make spending more predictable by limiting out-of-pocket costs.
Because original Medicare doesn’t have out-of-pocket limits (as Medicare Advantage plans often do), a prolonged disease course or injury could cause your medical bills to add up. With a Medigap policy, you may be more protected from unexpected high expenses.
Another way that Medigap differs from Medicare Advantage: It doesn’t pay for your prescription medications, unless you purchased a plan before 2006.
While Medicare requires insurance companies to standardize plans, some states will do this differently. These states include:
However, this doesn’t apply to Highmark’s service area.
Highmark offers a variety of Medicare supplement plans to those living in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
The best plan for you will depend on what kind of monthly premium you can afford and your overall health and potential medical needs.
You can visit Medicare.gov to search for plans or check Highmark’s website directly for more information.
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