What Should Be There in the Best Medicare Supplemental Plans?

The best Medicare supplemental insurance plans covers up for out of pocket expenses not reimbursed by regular insurance. These out of pocket expenses include co payments, deductibles and coinsurance. Some plans pay for these expenses paid from the pocket, while other provide with a cash benefit paid over a time period or given to the person in lump sum amount.

This lump sum amount can be utilized to cover for lost wages, expenditure in transportation due to medical treatment, or to pay for medication, food and other expenses which one may not expect due to injury or illness.

Best Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

People who are already enrolled in Medicare can also eligible to enroll in supplemental insurance, which are sold and marketed by private companies. Traditional Medicare (which includes hospital insurance under Part A and medical insurance under Part B) pays for most, but not all, services related to health and medical supplies.

A best Medicare supplemental insurance plan must be able to cover for “gaps” left out by traditional Medicare such as deductibles, coinsurance and co payments. These expenditures can really add up particularly for people who are hospitalized or require skilled nursing home services. This plan also pays for medical services a person seeks outside the country and preventive services not approved by Medicare.

People who are enrolled in Part A and B of Medicare and also in best Medicare supplemental insurance plan, the Medicare first pays its share of approved medical services and then Medigap pays its share of the cost.

Types of Supplemental Insurance

Other than Medigap, there are three types of supplemental plans that are widely sold in the country. These policies are either available as voluntary benefit from the employer or one can enroll directly through an insurance company.

Critical Illness Insurance

Disease specific or critical illness insurance is designed to provide financial backup to people with serious illness, like cancer. These plans provide a lump sum amount to help people take care of additional expenditure related to illness but not provided in regular insurance or disability plan. Depending on the plan, it can be utilized to pay for:

  • Specialists not in the network
  • Deductibles
  • House hold help and child care
  • Travel and lodging to get the treatment at far off place
  • Experimental treatment
  • Daily expenses such as utility bills, car payments and groceries

Accidental Death Plan in Best Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Accident plans are of two types, including Accident Health Insurance, and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance. They are often sold together. Due to variation in local regulations the benefits differ from one state to another.

Accident health insurance or accident hospital indemnity policy pays for medical expenditure resulting due to an accident which is not approved under regular health plans. These plans also reimburse for extended services in homecare, and lodging and travel expenditure of family members.

An accidental death and dismemberment policy gives a lump sum amount to the beneficiary of the person who died in an accident. The plan also provides benefits, however smaller to people who did not lose their life but lost a limb, suffered permanent paralysis or eyesight. AD&D does not cover for deaths related to suicide, illness or natural death.

Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Hospital confinement or indemnity insurance offers cash benefit to people who are confined to a hospital due to serious injury or illness. The person can receive the benefit as a lump sum amount or as a weekly or daily payment; there is, however, a minimum waiting period for the benefit to start. Just like other best Medicare supplemental insurance, the extra benefits are there to pay for services and for services not approved by regular coverage.

Caveat Emptor – Are you enrolling in extra coverage?

Insurance companies spend a huge amount in promoting their insurance products through direct to consumer advertising. Many Americans are aware of a flac duck, an advertising campaign that assisted a flac in becoming the biggest provider for supplement products in the country.

A best Medicare supplemental insurance is quite economical, but it is totally unnecessary to have duplicate coverage. People who are at or above 65 years of age and are enrolled in Medicare, one can get the full coverage by purchasing a regular Medigap plan or by purchasing an advantage plan.

The first step is to ensure that you and your family are protected with a regular coverage. People, who are searching for best Medicare supplemental insurance plan, should have answers to the following questions:

  • If you or any of your family members develops serious illness or meet with an accident, will the current coverage sufficient to cover for the treatment?
  • What is the probability that you or one of your family members will develop a major illness or serious accident?
  • Is it of any worth to pay for best Medicare supplemental insurance over time?

Apart from this, before you sign a supplement insurance contract, it is crucial to understand the benefits and limitation of such plans. For instance, every supplement plan has its own restrictions, the applicant may be asked to wait for sometime before the coverage starts or may have limit on how much can be reimbursed for how long.

Finding the Best Overall Medicare Supplemental Coverage

It’s Medicare Time again for people nearing the age of sixty-five. And the decision about what type of Medicare Supplement needed is mind-boggling. Information about plans are confusing, and vary by the state people live in.

Rushing into a decision without knowledge is risky. Take the time needed to make a wise choice about what type of plan to buy.

Medicare now pays 80% of the cost of medical bills; that is IF the medical facility (Doctor or Specialist) even accepts Medicare as a payment method. So let’s think about this.

If your Medical Bill is $1,000.00 and Medicare only pays 80% then the out-of-pocket costs would be $200.00. But what if the Medical Bill is $100,000.00 and the out-of-pocket cost is $20,000.00?

As people age, the reality of hospital visits is a possibility. The out-of-pocket costs for this type of treatment is astronomical and increasingly rising. Take time to think about what type of Medicare Supplement is really needed.

While at the beauty shop last week, the subject of Medicare came up. My hair stylist shared the plight of her parents and her husbands’ parents about their choices when they were eligible for Medicare.

Janet, my hair stylist parents chose a Medicare Supplement when they turned sixty-five; one that covered the twenty per-cent costs of the Medical Bills. Their monthly payment was high, but they understood that aging can cause medical issues they never dreamed of having.

While William (her husband’s) parents at the age of sixty-five chose a different Medicare Supplement because it had a very low monthly payment. They figured they were healthy and active at the time and wouldn’t need extensive medical care.

Five years later, the financial out-come of these two couple’s choices are very different. Janet’s mother and father experienced unexpected health issues that required hospital care. Their out-of-pocket costs were minimal.

William’s father is now experiencing unexpected health issues requiring extensive care. His mother is still healthy and hasn’t needed the Medicare Supplement policy. However because of the choice they made at age sixty-five the financial burden of large co-pays with Williams father have led this couple into financial trouble.

Seniors must take the time to really read, research, and understand the consequences of choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan. The aging process brings unexpected health issues. Just because health care is not an issue at the time, doesn’t necessarily mean that there will never be a health problem that requires extensive medical care.

Choose a Medicare Supplement with caution. Choices have consequences.

What Is The Difference Between Medicare Supplemental Plans And Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans?

When you reach the age of 65 and are no longer covered by a group healthcare plan you become eligible for Medicare. Medicare was never intended to cove 100% of all healthcare costs and in general it only covers 70% to 80% of all medical expenses. The remaining 20% to 30% is your responsibility and most people choose a Medigap insurance plan. There are two types of Medigap programs, Medicare Supplemental Programs, which have been around since 1965, and Medicare Advantage Programs, also known as Medicare Part C, which have been around since 2006. Supplemental insurance plans are similar to traditional group health insurance, with out-of-pocket costs from deductibles and copays for services rendered. Medicare Advantage plans are network plans that offer coverage based on agreements about pricing with hospitals and doctors. These plans are Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, and Private Fee For Service Plans.

The first real difference between the plans is that Medicare Advantage plans are contracted to provide Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare pays an insurance company to handle all of your healthcare needs. This means that you do not deal with Medicare at all, you will only deal with the network provider. Now all Advantage plans are required to offer at least the same amount as regular Medicare so there is no difference in the amount of coverage, the difference is in how costs and expenses are controlled.

Advantage plans offer lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs. This means if you do not get sick or need to see a doctor you will come out ahead. The out-of-pocket costs are also capped for each year. Supplemental plans have higher premiums but little or no out-of-pocket expenses.

Advantage plans usually come with a prescription drug plan and save money by using a large group size to achieve better prices. Supplemental plans do not have prescription drug plans, so you usually get a separate plan that can be catered to your prescription needs.

Advantage plans use local networks to control costs and the benefits can change annually, but not less than what Parts A and B cover. Supplemental plans are standardized, meaning Medicare sets what each Supplement will cover and they are guaranteed to be accepted anywhere in the United State that accepts Medicare.

The last major difference is when you sign up for an Advantage plan you have to stay with that program for an entire year, and if you choose to change providers you can only do so from October 15 to December 7 for the next year. You may change a Supplemental at anytime of the year.