Medicare is a federal government health insurance plans that covers those 65 and older that qualify for Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. Those individuals under the age of 65 can be eligible for Medicare if SSA deems them disabled. In addition, individuals who suffer from certain terminal illnesses may be eligible. For instance, those who have End Stage Renal Disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other specific illnesses can qualify immediately.
Although original Medicare is available to those 65 and older and some disabled individuals, original Medicare does not cover 100% of medical costs. In fact, Medicare covers approximately 80% of medical expenses. The remaining 20% is the responsibility of the Medicare beneficiaries. Therefore, a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan can pay some of the expenses that are not paid by Medicare. These costs include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. According to Mark Prip from MyMedigapPlans.com, the best time to enroll in a Supplement plan is when you’re brand new to Medicare part B.
Private insurance companies contract with the federal government to provide this coverage to Medicare beneficiaries. The private insurance company must include all of the coverage of original Medicare in the plan. The government also stipulates that the Medicare Supplement plan or Medigap plan meet certain criteria.
Medicare Supplement plans can be quite advantageous to a Medicare recipient. Nevertheless, there are numerous options to navigate, so it is important to know what things to look for in a Medicare Supplement plan.
Affordability is especially important when choosing a plan. The cost is a huge factor. If you can’t afford it, the plan is not the right one for you. Secondly, it is essential to look at the in-network doctors in the plan. Are your doctors included? If your doctors are not in-network are you willing to find new doctors?
Another crucial factor in determining which Medicare Supplement plan is for you is what type of prescription drug benefit does the plan offer? As you know, your prescription drug coverage is an essential part of your medical coverage. Pay attention to the formulary plan for prescription drugs. Some plans will not cover your specific medications, so you must do your homework to ensure that your plan will work for you in every way.
Most importantly, take your time to find the right plan. Around open enrollment every year, Medicare beneficiaries tend to be bombarded by information and insurance representatives that want to rush you into a plan. Resist this push, and take your time to truly do some comparison shopping. Your health care supplement plan will be instrumental in how much you will pay out of pocket and in determining many other factors in your health care.
Remember, it is up to you to choose carefully. There are many great Medicare Supplement plans available; it just takes a little comparison shopping to find the plan that will provide you with your specific needs. Keep in mind cost, coverage, prescription drug coverage, wellness incentives, and in-network providers. If you take all of these factors into consideration, you will make a well-informed choice.