Getting health coverage is one of the most important parts of aging. Often times, especially when we are in good health, we may neglect the importance of getting this coverage. However, with potential unforeseen medical expenses looming, this is a crucial time to make sure you are completely covered. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover all of your Medical expenses at 100%. To get this complete coverage, you will need a Medicare supplement plan.
What Does Medicare Cover?
To understand Medicare supplement plans, you must first understand what Medicare does and does not cover. When you are nearing 65, you will have the opportunity to enroll in Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and Medicare Part D. If you want, you can enroll in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage), but you would not be able to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan. There are bonuses and specific reasons why you should choose a Medicare supplement plan over Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance. It covers your inpatient needs. For example, if for any reason you need to go to the hospital, and the hospital admits you as a patient, Medicare would cover 80% of the expenses associated with the stay.
Medicare Part B is your outpatient insurance. You would use this coverage for all doctor visits. For example, if you need a routine exam or checkup, one that you would not need to go to the hospital for, you would be taking advantage of your Part B benefits. Part B also covers benefits such as ambulance services, durable medical equipment, and mental health services.
Medicare Part D is your prescription drug coverage. If you need prescription drugs for any condition, it is essential to have this coverage. Even if you are currently healthy, it is a good idea to pick up a low-cost Part D plan. You never know when you might need prescription medications in the future.
While it may seem like Medicare covers most of your expenses, you are still left with expenses that Medicare does not cover. These expenses quickly add up, leaving you with several bills to pay for your health coverage. This is why you need a Medicare supplement plan. It will cover all of the gaps in Medicare.
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 insurance plans. The government completely standardizes them, so they are the same from company to company. This ensures that the same plans cover the same gaps in your Medicare coverage.
With inpatient hospital expenses, Medicare would typically only pay 80% of the expenses. Certain Medicare supplement plans cover the remaining 20% that Medicare does not cover. You would usually be responsible for this cost.
Without a Medicare supplement plan, you might also have exposure to deductibles, and excess charges for Medicare Parts A and B. Certain Medicare supplement plans cover these charges.
There are ten different Medicare supplement plans. The most popular plans are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. These are the most popular because they are the most comprehensive plans. They tend to cover all the gaps in Medicare, such as all coinsurances, deductibles, and excess charges.
Having a Medicare supplement is vital to protect yourself in the event of a significant medical emergency. Your savings could quickly deplete in a situation where you would be left responsible for all coinsurance, deductibles, and excess charges for a major medical situation.
It is important to know when to buy a Medicare supplement plan to ensure you get protection as quickly as possible.
When Do I Get a Medicare Supplement Plan?
The best time to buy a Medicare supplement plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment period. This period varies from person to person. It lasts six months and starts the day your Medicare Part B starts, which is typically your 65th birthday.
Buying your Medicare supplement plan during this period is important. This period ensures that insurance companies cannot reject you for pre-existing health conditions or other habits such as smoking. Companies also cannot charge you a higher premium than they would normally charge for individuals who are older than 65 or buying their Medicare supplement plan outside of their Medigap Open Enrollment period.
You can get a Medicare supplement plan outside of your Medigap Open Enrollment period, but there are some additional challenges associated with this. For example, if you have any major health issues or take any expensive medications, you might not be as attractive of a beneficiary to insurance companies. This may result in a denied application or costly premiums.
The benefits of getting a Medicare supplement plan outweigh the potential negatives. As a senior, it is crucial to ensure you have protection in all medical situations.
GoMedigap Can Help
If you’re ready to add a Medicare supplement plan to complete your Medicare coverage, GoMedigap can help. We will make sure that you get the best plan for the best rates available in your area. You can get a free quote online or give us a call at (800) 310-2550.