Are you overwhelmed by Medicare?
Medicare Supplement Plan: Are you worried about making the wrong decision and following a plan that doesn’t meet your prescription and medical needs when you need it most?
Don’t worry! You’re not alone. The vast majority of older adults on Medicare have no idea what type of plan they have and what it covers and what doesn’t. Getting high-quality health insurance is one of the most important components of aging.
Often, especially when we are in good health, we neglect the importance of keeping this coverage and think that we can always keep it when we need it in the future. This is a critical misunderstanding! You have to take out health insurance because once your health goes, so do your options.
It’s like trying to get home insurance while your house is on fire. With potential unforeseen medical expenses looming, this is a crucial time to make sure you’re fully insured. Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover all of your medical expenses 100%. To get this full coverage, you’ll need to add a Medicare supplementation plan.
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Read More: 4 Best Medicare Supplement Plans for 2022
What Does Medicare Cover?
To understand Medicare Supplement plans, you must first understand what Medicare does and doesn’t do. As you approach age 65, you have the option to enroll in Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and Part D. or you can enroll in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) but you won’t be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan. There are specific reasons why you should choose a Medicare Supplement Plan over Medicare Advantage.
It’s important to keep in mind that Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans aren’t the same things. This is another common and important misunderstanding. Medicare Advantage is a replacement or replacement for Medicare.
If you choose this type of plan, you’ll waive the Medicare rights and benefits you’ve earned from years of hard work and social security deposits, and you’ll be forfeiting them for a managed care plan (HMO/PPO) where the insurance company (not you) dictates your coverage and care.
Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance. It includes inpatient care in a hospital or qualified care facility. For example, if you need to go to the hospital for any reason and the hospital allows you to be hospitalized, Medicare covers part of the cost of your stay after you first pay a $1,364 deductible out of pocket.
Medicare Part B is your (outpatient) health insurance. They would use this coverage for all doctor visits and outpatient surgeries. For example, if you need a routine checkup or exam that doesn’t require you to go to the hospital, you can benefit from Part B benefits. Part B also includes services such as emergency services, durable medical devices, and mental health services. Medicare Part D is your prescription drug coverage. If you need prescription drugs for a medical condition, that coverage is essential.
Even if you’re healthy right now, it’s a good idea to consider a cheap Part D plan. You never know when you’ll need prescription drugs in the future, and if you don’t add a Part D drug plan when you’re first eligible, Medicare will punish you and that penalty will last forever. While it may seem like Medicare will cover most of your expenses, you may still have a lot of expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover, that is, “gaps” in coverage.
These costs can add up quickly and give you significant bills to pay for your health insurance. That’s why you need a Medicare supplement plan. Depending on the type of Medicare Supplement Plan you choose, the plan covers some or all of the gaps that Medicare doesn’t cover. So you can ensure you’re 100% covered and enjoy the certainty and predictability of never having to pay your out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Read More: Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
What are Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, fill the gaps in Original Medicare Parts A and B. These plans are private supplemental insurance. The government is completely standardizing these plans so that they are the same from one company to another. This ensures that the same plans cover the same gaps in your Medicare insurance coverage, regardless of which insurance company you choose.
This means that different insurance companies in your area may charge completely different monthly premiums for the same plan. Sometimes there can be up to $100 a month between two companies offering the same add-on plan.
Therefore, you must choose one of the insurance companies that offer the desired supplement plan for the lowest monthly premium available in your zip code. For example, let’s say you decide to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan G, one of the most popular full-coverage supplemental plans.
- Insurance Company A’s premium rate for Plan G is $200 per month.
- Insurance Company B’s premium rate for Plan G is $215 per month.
- Insurance Company C’s premium rate for Plan G is $245 per month.
There is no difference between plan G, whether you choose company A, B or C. Supplemental plan G is a standardized plan… every plan G is the same from one company to another. Not close, not similar, but the same in every way! One of the biggest misconceptions people have when comparing insurance companies to Medicare supplements is that paying more for their plan gives them access to more doctors, faster services, more benefits, etc.
For inpatient hospital expenses, Medicare typically only pays 80% of the costs. Certain Medicare Supplement plans cover the remaining 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover, which is usually your responsibility. With the right Medicare supplementation plan, you would eliminate your liability for all inpatient hospital costs, no matter how high they are. Without a Medicare Supplement Plan, you’ll be exposed to high deductibles and large hospital and medical bills. A Medicare Supplement Plan is critical to protecting yourself in the event of a major medical emergency.
In a situation where you are responsible for all coinsurance, deductibles, and additional costs for a major medical situation, your savings could quickly decrease. It’s important to know when you need to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan to make sure you get protection as soon as possible.
Read More: Why All Seniors Need a Medicare Supplement Plan
When Should I Get a Medicare Supplement Plan?
The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement Plan is during your first Medigap enrollment period. This period varies from person to person. It starts six months before the day Medicare Part B starts, which is usually the first day of the month you turn 65.
It ends three months after the month you turn 65. It’s important to enroll in your Medicare Supplement Plan during this time. It ensures that insurance companies have to approve it without health insurance and cannot refuse it because of pre-existing medical conditions. You can also enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan outside your first enrollment period, but there may be some additional challenges related to that.
For example, if you have major health problems or are taking expensive medications, you may not be as attractive of a beneficiary to insurance companies
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What is the point of Medicare Supplement plan?
Medicare Supplement plans are meant to cover your Original Medicare payments. With the exception of foreign travel, your Medicare Supplement plan will normally only cover the services that Medicare covers.
Are supplemental health plans worth it?
It’s truly capable of much more. Expense reimbursed supplemental insured plans cover both routine costs such as deductibles, co-pays, and medicines, as well as more unusual costs such as hospital stays and cancer treatments.
What are the disadvantages of a Medicare Advantage plan?
Cons of Medicare Advantage
- Restrictive policies may limit the services and medical providers that are covered.
- Copays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses may be greater.
- The Part B deductible must be paid by the beneficiaries.
- Health-care costs aren’t usually obvious upfront.
- The types of plans that are available vary by location.
Why are Medicare Supplement plans so expensive?
Medicare Supplement insurance plans that are scored this way may be relatively reasonable for younger consumers. However, because your premiums rise as you get older, these plans may become prohibitively expensive over time. Inflation and other causes may also cause premiums to rise.
Do I need to renew my Medicare Supplement every year?
The short answer is no, you do not have to renew your Medigap plan every year. As long as you pay your premiums on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annual basis, all Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed renewable for life.
What is the difference between secondary and supplemental insurance?
Supplemental health insurance is designed to enhance an existing primary care plan, whereas secondary health insurance provides coverage similar to that of a full health care policy. Choosing one of these healthcare options may be influenced by your budget and the coverage provided by your primary health insurance.
Who might benefit from supplemental insurance and why?
A supplemental health insurance plan provides additional coverage to assist pay for covered accidents and serious illnesses. This coverage can also assist you in paying for non-medical expenses that arise as a result of an injury or serious illness.
Do I need supplemental insurance if I have Medicare and Medicaid?
If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, do you need Medicare Supplement Insurance? No, is the quick response. The majority of your healthcare costs are likely to be covered if you have dual Medicare and Medicaid eligibility.
Why is Medicare Advantage being pushed so hard?
Because of how they are sponsored, advantage programs are heavily advertised. Because Medicare compensates the carrier whenever someone enrolls, the premiums for these plans are cheap or nonexistent. Because of the money, they receive from Medicare, insurance firms benefit from encouraging membership in Advantage plans.
Is Medigap the same as supplemental?
Is there a difference between Medigap and Medicare Supplemental Insurance? Yes, in Spanish. Medigap, or Medicare Supplemental Insurance, is a type of private health insurance that works in conjunction with Medicare to help you pay for your portion of medical expenses. You must get and pay for Medigap coverage on your own.