If you have Medicare Insurance you need Medicare supplement insurance
When seniors were first able to sign up for Medicare in 1966, it became evident that there was a need to fill the gaps left by Medicare. Medicare insurance was intended to be a safety net for seniors and included provisions for cost sharing by Medicare beneficiaries.
The hospital deductible and co-pays have increased consistently. Your responsibility with original Medicare, should you be hospitalized include:
- 2017 Part A hospital deductible is $1316 (covers 1st 60 days).
- 61st through 90th day requires a $329 per day co-pay.
- 91st day and after (up to 60 reserve days) $658 per day co-pay.
- Once lifetime reserve days are used, Medicare pays nothing.
These steep costs associated with a hospital stay are one reason that insurance companies saw an opportunity to offer supplemental insurance for seniors. Medicare supplement insurance has become a necessary purchase to protect Medicare beneficiaries from financial uncertainty.
When discussing the uncertainty of the costs associated with Medicare Insurance, consider the fact that original Medicare only covers 80% of out-patient charges. The question for the Medicare recipient, then becomes; 20% of what?
An emergency room visit, labs, testing and some advanced imaging (like MRIs and CAT scans), could easily lead to thousands of dollars in charges beyond what Medicare will pay.
What is Medicare supplement insurance?
The official name for a Medicare supplement is Medigap. There are several different types of supplemental insurance for seniors, but Medicare supplement insurance is by far the most popular.
A Medicare supplement is a standardized insurance policy, that to varying degrees, comes in behind Medicare and fills the gaps….hence the name Medigap. Plans are standardized, so plan F will offer identical coverage no matter which company you choose. When comparing companies, the relevant criteria becomes:
- The insurance company’s financial rating.
- Their ability to deliver satisfactory customer service.
- A company’s rate stability.
- The price of the medicare supplement.
Since the plans are standardized, it’s much easier to compare Medicare supplement insurance than it is to compare health insurance for those under 65 years of age. If you are considering Medigap Plan F, the coverage is going to be identical from one company to the next.
The best time to purchase a Medigap policy
When you consider the different types of senior insurance, one type stands out as having a best time to purchase. There is not a certain time when purchasing an individual Long Term Care or Life Insurance policy gives the promise of guaranteed acceptance.
Medicare supplement insurance open enrollment:
Open enrollment lasts six months and starts on the first day of the month that you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, an insurance company offering Medicare supplement insurance cannot:
- Refuse to sell you any Medigap policy that they sell.
- Make you wait for coverage (pre-existing conditions may limit coverage for up to 6 months).
- Charge you more for a policy because of any health conditions.
If you are nearing Medicare enrollment, it’s time to start gathering information on the different standardized plans and get some Medicare supplement quotes. Medicare supplement insurance can offer you certainty when it comes to the level of coverage included as well as your share of the costs.