Continental Life is an insurance agency owned by Aetna. If you are eligible for Medicare, you might come across the Continental Life Medigap Plans. These plans can help fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. But, you have your choice of many private carriers. So, is Continental Life the right one?

What Is Medigap?

At the age of 65, the average United States citizen will opt into the Medicare program. But, while many choose Original Medicare (Part A and Part B coverage), most find that those benefits alone aren't enough to protect their health--and their pockets.

That's why many opt into a Medigap policy. Medigap, or a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, can help fill in the gaps left by Original Medicare. A Medigap policy can help pay for your deductibles, copays, and coinsurance associated with Medicare.

In all, there are ten Medigap policies. You can get a policy through a private insurance company. But, because they come from private companies, you need to shop around. Continental Life is one insurance provider that offers Medigap plans.

Like most carriers, Continental Life does not offer all 10 plans. Instead, they offer just four of the most popular plans. Here's a closer look at them to help you decide if they are the right fit for you.

About Continental Life

Continental life isn't one of the largest insurance companies in the country, but it is a well-known and trusted one. Their roots are in Brentwood, Tennessee but they offer health and life insurance in multiple states across the country. You might know their parent company better. Continental Life is a fully-owned subsidiary of Aetna.

With the backing of Aetna, you can rest easy knowing that Continental Life is a strong insurance company with a national presence. That could make them a viable option when it comes time to get a Medigap policy.

Overview of Continental Life Medigap Plans

As mentioned above, Continental Life does not offer all 10 Medigap plans. Instead, they handpicked the four most popular. Here's a look at each of them.

Plan A

  • Part A Coinsurance & Hospital Costs: 100% coverage
  • Part B Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Blood (first three pints): 100% coverage
  • Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance: No coverage.
  • Part A Deductible: No coverage.
  • Part B Deductible: No coverage.
  • Part B Excess Charges: No coverage.
  • Foreign Travel Emergencies: No coverage.

If you're looking to balance cost and coverage, Plan A may very well be a great fit for you. It's considered one of the more basic Medigap plans, but it can offer just the right amount of coverage for those who want protection from the big expenses. Like all 10 plans, it offers 100% coverage for your Part A coinsurance and hospital costs.

Plan A also covers your Part B and Part A Hospice Care coinsurance or copayments in full. However, it does not offer coverage in some major areas where many beneficiaries desire protection. For instance, under Plan A, you will be completely responsible for the Part A and Part B deductibles.

Plus, it does not cover Part B excess charges or foreign travel emergencies. If you're unsure about the cost of excess charges, think about how many appointments you make throughout the year that fall under Part B.

Medicare Part B includes ambulance services, second opinions, and lab tests along with many other critical services. Medicare pays up to a certain amount for each of these things when you visit a Medicare-approved provider. But, that provider can charge up to 15% more than the coverage amount. The difference between what Medicare covers and what you have to pay is an "excess charge".

Plan B

  • Part A Coinsurance & Hospital Costs: 100% coverage
  • Part B Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Blood (first three pints): 100% coverage
  • Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance: No coverage.
  • Part A Deductible: 100% coverage
  • Part B Deductible: No coverage.
  • Part B Excess Charges: No coverage.
  • Foreign Travel Emergencies: No coverage.

If you want a step up from Plan A, it might be worth considering Plan B. There are usually only slight differences in the monthly premiums, typically only adding up to a few dollars. And, that can prove well worth it since Plan B includes 100% coverage for the Part A deductible.

In 2019, the Part A deductible is $1,364. With Plan A leaving you to pay that entirely out of pocket, a slightly higher premium for Plan B will likely prove well worth it. However, people who do not foresee needing much if any Part A services may opt for Plan A to keep monthly costs down.

If you're not sure if you'll use a lot of Medicare Part A services, think about what it covers. Medicare Part A includes inpatient care at a hospital and inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility. It also includes skilled nursing facility care. Hospice care and home health care services also fall under Part A.

While Part A includes all of these things, they aren't necessarily services that you are planning to utilize. So, you might not need coverage for the Part A deductible at all. If you're willing to forego it, Plan A is the only plan that doesn't offer it.

Plan F

  • Part A Coinsurance & Hospital Costs: 100% coverage
  • Part B Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Blood (first three pints): 100% coverage
  • Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance: 100% coverage
  • Part A Deductible: 100% coverage
  • Part B Deductible: 100% coverage
  • Part B Excess Charges: 100% coverage
  • Foreign Travel Emergencies: 80% coverage

On the opposite end of the spectrum from Plan A and Plan B sits Plan F. Plan F is widely considered the most popular Medigap policy, and if you glance at its benefits, you'll surely be able to understand why. Plan F offers the most coverage of all 10 Medigap plans.

It offers 100% coverage down the line, with 80% coverage for foreign travel emergencies. It protects you from the Part A deductible ($1,364), the Part B deductible ($185), and Part B Excess Charges.

Since the amount of excess charges you incur can vary greatly depending on how much care you need, having coverage for them can provide greater peace of mind. Just think about it: if Medicare pays up to $100 for a scheduled visit, your provider can charge up to $115. That difference can quickly add up. Plan F will pay it for you.

Obviously, alongside its glorious benefits, you can expect to see a high monthly premium for Plan F. But, it can prove worth it, especially if you need a lot of care and services. Fortunately, some carriers offer a high deductible version of Plan F which has significantly lower monthly premiums.

Plan G

  • Part A Coinsurance & Hospital Costs: 100% coverage
  • Part B Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Blood (first three pints): 100% coverage
  • Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment: 100% coverage
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance: 100% coverage
  • Part A Deductible: 100% coverage
  • Part B Deductible: No coverage.
  • Part B Excess Charges: 100% coverage
  • Foreign Travel Emergencies: 80% coverage

Plan G is a popular alternative to Plan F. The monthly premium difference varies depending on the carrier you're considering, but it might justify stepping down to it. The only difference between Plan F and Plan G is that this plan does not cover the Part B deductible.

As mentioned above, the Part B deductible in 2019 is $185. So, do some math. If the premium savings for Plan G more than make up for having to pay this deductible yourself, it might be worth opting into this plan. On the other hand, if you can upgrade to Plan F for just a few dollars more each month, it might be worth it to you.

Finding a Carrier

At the end of the day, choosing amongst the ten Medigap plans isn't the only decision you need to make. What's equally important is choosing the right plan from the right carrier. Since Medigap plans come from private insurance companies, rates vary depending on who you look at.

Fortunately, Quick Medigap makes shopping around simple. Just start by entering your zip code and you'll see carriers available in your area in under 2 minutes. That makes finding and comparing carriers simple. Get started here.