Our government has recognized that it is very important to care for its elderly citizens. That is the reason why Medicare health insurance was created. Anyone age 65 or older is eligible for this government health care plan. For many that are eligible, Medicare can be very confusing because it has many parts.
To put it simply, Part A covers any costs for impatient hospital care. Most of those who pay Medicare taxes from paychecks receive Part A for free and automatically.
Part B includes some doctors' services and outpatient care-but it is not free. Part B requires a minor monthly premium.
Part C deals with various health care options, like HMOs, that are approved by Medicare but are not related. Part C allows for a private insurance company, through a government contract, to reside over all of your Medicare benefits. Part C also requires additional costs that can vary widely.
Part D was created to cover prescription drugs. This plan is controlled by private companies that are Medicare-approved. It is also optional and costs more money.
The "original" Medicare plan was comprised of only Parts A and B. Later, the "advantage" plans of Parts C and D were added, and with a higher cost. Parts C and D had to be created because parts A and B did not pay for everything.
Medicare has created Medicare supplement plans to ensure that all costs can be paid and it is a type of private insurance. Most of the costs these plans cover are deductibles and co-payments that can add up very quickly for seniors on fixed incomes. The supplement plans have been termed "Medigap" because the plans were created to cover the "gaps" in costs for procedures that are not always included in Medicare. Medicare supplement insurance is standardized
and regulated by the U.S. government. You can obtain a supplement plan through insurance companies and you must choose which insurance company you want by the price of their supplement plan. This is true because each plan covers the same things-no matter what insurance company you receive it through.
"Medigap" insurance is regulated by the Federal government and insurance companies must also follow state laws. Due to different laws, the plans can vary slightly state by state. To add to the complexity of Medicare, there are 12 different types of standardized Medicare supplement insurance. They are designated letters of A through L, so it can take a great amount of time to figure out which supplement plan fits your needs.
Sadly, many Americans do not receive health insurance. This dilemma is often due to high insurance rates and prolonged, or even small, illnesses that can clean out an underinsured person's savings. This results in medical bills that may never be paid off. The key is to have a plan in these situations. Even with the outrageous healthcare costs in this country, it is vital to plan properly if you were to need medical attention. No insurance that is truly affordable will ever be able to cover all healthcare costs. So, you must evaluate your circumstances and your anticipated needs. Due to the fact that medical needs may come up suddenly, it is recommended that you obtain Medicare supplemental insurance.
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This article was published on 18 Oct 2009 and has been viewed 833 times