Think of Medicare as a formulated treaty between health coverage needs and government capabilities. In reality, Medicare really is a compromise between what the elderly citizens need and what the government funds can provide. Since Medicare covers the most basic and common needs only, there are many gaps in the insurance policy. These gaps include: extended stays in hospitals, home health care, and prescription drug coverage. Dental and vision insurances are not included with Medicare, which are usual needs as people age. Hearing aids and surgeries are also not covered.
Medicare Supplemental Coverage is not a prerequisite to qualifying for Medicare, but most agree that Medicare Supplemental Coverage is needed to be able to afford health care for the elderly. Those who will not need Medicare Supplemental Coverage are those who have insurance offered through their current or previous employment, those on Medicaid or on Medicare Advantage, those who are a Qualified Medicaid Beneficiary, or those who receive health benefits from a government or veteran agency.
Medicare will cover most of the needed health care, but not all of it. Other health insurance plans DO cover what Medicare misses. You should check your current health coverage plans, if any, to see if the cover the gaps that Medicare misses. If you do not have other insurance available, or it is too expensive to continue, then this is where Medicare Supplemental Coverage comes in. It covers the specifics of what Medicare misses, like dental care, and paying for Medicare Supplemental Coverage will probably be less expensive than paying for the “gaps” in Medicare out-of-pocket.
Medicare Supplemental Coverage is not required for those who have Medicare insurance. But supplemental insurance is, for most cases, considered necessary.