As we enter our golden years, our trips to the doctor can become more frequent. Furthermore, the risk of serious health issues catches up with us. That’s why Medicare is an excellent initiative to help you pay for a variety of medical needs. Your costs for health check-ups, hospital visits, and other health services reduce by having this coverage.
As you reach your senior years, you may still be working or enjoying retirement. Whichever describes you, Medicare is ready to support those 65 or older. However, it does have gaps in its coverage; this is where supplemental health insurance for seniors (Medigap policies) comes in.
Understanding how these two policies interlink can be complicated. To help, we have detailed all you need to know to get the most out of your medical insurance policies.
Medicare has four key components broken into parts. You can opt-in for some or all these areas of cover. However, which you choose can affect what health care services you can access under your insurance. Moreover, it will also impact if you’re eligible for supplemental insurance.
Part A (Hospital coverage) – Covers hospital procedures such as inpatient services and specialized nursing care. Part A is the foundation of Medicare and always included.
Part B (Medical Coverage) – Part B is also a core service. It covers doctors’ appointments, diagnostics, and outpatient procedures.
Part C (Medicare Advantage) – Medicare Advantage plans are privately owned but approved. They include all parts A and B as a base but typically include additional specific services. These can include dental, hearing services, and optometry.
Part D (Drug Coverage) – Plan D is also a private plan added to your Medicare package. It covers medication costs.
What Does Supplemental Insurance Cover?
It sounds like Medicare has everything covered, right? Well, yes, it covers almost all the bases. However, the co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance fees are often left only partially paid for.
The purpose of enrolling for a Medigap policy is to reduce these payments even further. By having this coverage, you aren’t left picking up a hefty bill.
Your Medicare insurance will pay its Medicare-approved amount for the services you’ve used first. After, your Medigap policy will then pay its share.
Noteworthy Factors of a Medigap Policy
A Medigap supplemental insurance policy won’t add plan D to your Medicare plan, nor will it include Plan Cs additional services. It’s not an alternative to the Advantage plan; it’s only a supplement to your original plan. To be eligible, you must already have part A and part B.
Medigap is privately owned insurance. Therefore you’ll pay separate monthly premiums to your Medicare plan. The plan will only cover one person. If you want to enroll both you and your significant other in a Medigap plan, then you’ll have to take out separate policies.
Who Should Get Supplemental Insurance Coverage?
A Medigap policy is an appropriate plan for anyone who needs further support paying for deductibles and copayments.
Before you decide if you need supplemental insurance, you should look at your budget. For seniors still fit and at work, spending your money elsewhere, like upgrading to Medicare Advantage, may be more beneficial.
On the other hand, if you’re going into retirement. You may have a smaller budget each month. Medigap could be a savior if the unfortunate happens in your old age. Medicare may only pay 80% of your medical bills. Making up the remaining 20% at this stage of your life is often a lot more of a challenge.
Top Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Plan
Whatever level of coverage you decide is best for you as you approach the 65 milestone, you should be aware that there are several ways in which you can get the most out of your senior medical insurance.
Be organized – As your 65th birthday approaches, get your paperwork in order and submit it early. By doing this, you can ensure your Medicare policy covers you from that day, and any delays don’t end up costing you a fortune.
Use the special enrollment – Planning to retire after 65? You can access special enrollment if your employer currently covers your health insurance. By using this service, you can ensure you’re not left without cover while your policy changes.
Take advantage of the Welcome to Medicare offer – When you begin a policy, you’ll receive a free opportunity for a full health check-up. Take advantage of this and start your Medicare journey proactively.
As you enter the senior stage of life, worries about your health should not cloud the joys of retirement. For your peace of mind and to meet your health needs, take full advantage of initiatives like Medicare.
Some people find the process overwhelming. Furthermore, there are many misconceptions about a supplemental insurance plan like Medigap. By reading this article, you should now understand what one is, how it works, and how to get the best out of your Medicare plan.