Medicare Supplement insurance helps to pay a portion of your Medicare medical costs not covered by the Medicare Plan, such as coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments. Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans also cover some specific medical or hospital services not covered by Medicare; for example, some will cover the cost of an out-patient surgery. Medicare Supplement insurance can be helpful in providing extra coverage for many different kinds of medical problems. It’s important to understand all of the limitations, restrictions, and rules that apply to Medicare Supplement insurance so that you can determine if it’s right for you.
The basic idea behind supplemental insurance is to fill in the gaps left by the original Medicare plan. There are three broad areas that supplemental policies can cover: the most common is Part A. This provides coverage for your routine hospital stays, nursing home stays, and some medical supplies. Part B is also mandatory, and provides coverage for certain prescribed drugs and for outpatient doctor visits. Part D, which was added to the original Medicare program in 2021, must be paid for under the Medicare program; it covers the costs of durable medical equipment and certain outpatient hospital stays.
In order to participate in Medicare Part A and Part B, you must have a minimum guaranteed income and be aged 18 or older. Most people automatically get part A when they are born, but if you do not this is an opportunity to enroll in the program. If you do not participate in Medicare as of yet, you may want to consider purchasing supplemental insurance plans to bridge the gap until you are fully enrolled. Some companies provide supplemental insurance plans to new employees after they reach normal retirement age. These plans are standardized and there are several things you should consider before choosing one.
It is important to take a close look at all three options when selecting a supplemental insurance plan. The three different types of supplemental health insurance plans are: the traditional fee-for-service plan, the managed care plan, and the different types of supplemental insurance choices. The traditional fee-for-service plan pays a flat monthly rate for an extended period of time. During this period, a doctor visit, prescription, and other standard services are covered. The different types of supplemental insurance plans provide a more flexible payment schedule, allowing people to pay their expenses over a longer period of time with little interruption to their primary health coverage. This type of plan is great for individuals who need to use different health services but cannot afford to pay the full premium on their own.
There are two basic options in Part A and Part B. One option covers the basics such as: physician visits, prescriptions, emergency care, hearing aids, hospital fees, and other hospital-related expenses. The other option covers two categories of expenses: deductibles and coinsurance. Deductibles are paid by Medicare before benefits are paid. Coinsurance is a percentage of each medical expense and must be paid each month.
There are other items which may cover additional costs after Medicare coverage has been expanded. Medicare does not cover pre-existing conditions and some prescriptions may be excluded if a Medigap policy is selected. Insurance companies can also offer additional coverage for gym memberships, driving, vision, accident, and travel insurance, and life insurance. There are also many choices in what types of services are covered and how much coverage a person will receive. A wise consumer can review all of the options and select the type of plan that is best suited to their unique situation.