3 Things You Need To Know About Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Paying hospital bills out of pocket can easily drain the savings of a senior. To avoid this, seniors often purchase Medicare plans. However the original Medicare does not pay for all hospital expenses and one can often find themselves forced to dip into their pocket even with a Medicare policy. According to a report published by the Medicare Rights Center the elderly use about 15% of their income to pay for healthcare. In addition seniors spend close to $5000 every year to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Fortunately Medicare Supplemental Plans help to fill a portion of this gap. Here are a few things to keep in mind about Medicare supplemental insurance.

Standardized Coverage

Some people think that Medigap is exclusively for people with high incomes. However this is not true. It is a myth. In fact 54% of people with Medigap policies earn less than $30,000 annually. In rural areas this figure stands at 62% according to figures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The standardization of Medigap plans means that you can easily compare policies offered by different insurers. Policyholders get the same benefits across all the states. However your insurer may or may not offer all Medigap plans. For senior citizens with limited incomes Medigap makes healthcare affordable.

Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans Are Different

It is important to note that Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans are not the same. To start with Medigap plans supplement medical expenses left out of Medicare parts A and B. On the other hand Medicare Advantage takes care of your medical bills through privatized deductibles and co-payments. In addition both plans differ in the way policyholders can access treatment change plans and coverage. For example Medicare Advantage policyholders have coverage for prescription drugs. Unless you bought your policy prior to January 2006, Medigap does not cover prescription drug expenses. Medicare advantage policyholders have to contend with a maximum limit of out-of-pocket expenses that stands at $6700. For Medigap policyholders plan F covers nearly all conceivable medical expenses.

Unlimited Hospital Access

If you have had an employer coverage plan in the past you know that you cannot just check into any hospital. Instead you have to visit a select network of hospitals that accept your employer’s healthcare plan. However this is not the case with Medigap. You can visit any hospital so long as you hold a valid policy. Even if individuals move from one state to another you, no matter where they purchased their Medicare supplemental plans, they can still use them to access health care. This translates to fewer hospital expenses if you find the need for an extended hospital stay.

Health insurance plays a big role in ensuring that you can settle hospital bills. While the original Medicare does cover most of the medical costs some are not covered. These expenses can easily run into thousands of dollars. If you do not have enough savings to pay these bills access to healthcare can become a pipe dream. According to the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) people over the age of 65 account for almost half of all healthcare spending. This is where Medicare Supplemental insurance comes in handy. Medigap plans A-N are standard meaning policyholders get the same benefits regardless of state. With Medigap you can access healthcare at any hospital. However Medicare supplemental insurance does not cover prescription medications. Apart from this out-of-pocket expense most other healthcare costs are covered.

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