Medicare is a federal health insurance program to help older Americans and some disabled Americans pay for the high cost of health care. However, Medicare was never intended to cover all of your health care costs. So even if you’re covered by Medicare, you are still responsible for a potentially large portion of your health care costs.
“What Medicare Doesn’t cover”
Medicare does not cover all health care costs. Medicare coverage consists of Part A (which covers hospital and skilled nursing facility care), and Part B (which covers doctor bills, outpatient expenses along with certain medical equipment). Even with Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, you are responsible for out of pocket expenses including:
- Part A Hospital annual deductible ($1,184)
- Copayments for hospital stays over 60 days ($275 per day).
- Care in a skilled nursing facility after 20 days ($137.50 per day).
- Part B deductible ($147)
- Twenty percent coinsurance for doctor bills and other medical expenses
Medicare Supplement plans …
A Medicare Supplement plan is a health plan that compliments (or supplements) your regular Medicare coverage, also known as Medigap insurance. Although Medicare pays for many health care services and supplies, it doesn’t pay for all of them. A Medicare Supplement plan will help pay for those costs which could include deductibles, coinsurance and copayments when visiting your doctor. There is an open enrollment period for the first six months after you turn age 65, in which you do not need to qualify. A Medicare Supplement plan is also a good idea if you prefer to keep your own doctor and hospital and choose your own specialist and other health care provider.
There are 12 standard Medicare Supplement policies to choose from, plans A through L. Medicare Supplement plan A is the most basic policy. As you move through the alphabet, the plans add more coverage. For example, Medicare Supplement plan E will offer something that is not included in Medicare Supplement plan D, but will lack a coverage provided in Plan F.
There is no difference in plans offered by different insurers; plan details are all set by the government. (If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin, check with your state insurance department or a private insurer who
operates in your state. Medigap policies in these states offer coverage different than the plans followed by the 47 other states).
If you and your spouse want Medicare Supplement coverage, you’ll need to buy separate policies; spouses are not covered together. The cost will vary depending on where you live, your health and of course, the specific plan you choose. For example, a 65 year-old California resident could purchase a Medicare Supplement plan F policy in 2009 for a monthly premium ranging around $120.
Who is eligible?
You are eligible for a Medicare Supplement Plan if you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and if you are age 65 or older or, in some states, under age 65 with a disability and or end stage renal disease (plan offerings and eligibility vary by state). You also must be a resident of the state where the policy is offered.
What is Medicare?
Medicare includes Hospital insurance (Part A); Medical insurance (Part B); and a Prescription Drug benefit option (Part D). Part A helps to pay for your in-hospital expenses, and care in a skilled nursing facility, and provides limited benefits for home health care and hospice care. Part B helps to pay doctor bills, outpatient hospital care and other medical services not covered by Part A.
How do I choose a Medicare Supplement plan?
The best way to choose is by comparing the coverage and rates . Or simply call my toll free number: 800-700-1246, I will be happy to answer all of your questions.
To help cover your out of pocket medical costs, we offer Medicare Supplement insurance policies that help pay for items that Medicare may not cover, such as:
- Medicare deductibles.
- Hospital and medical care co-insurance.
- Extended hospital care.
- Physician’s services, hospital outpatient services adn supplies.
- Ambulance services.
- You choose your own doctors – no need to select a primary care physician.
- No referrals are needed to see a specialist.
- Virtually no claim forms to fill out – we pay your providers directly so you don’t need to file claims yourself.
- 30 day free look.
- Coverage is guaranteed renewable for life.