Medical costs continue to soar and premiums, deductibles and coinsurance payments mount up quickly. Original Medicare does not cover everything. Medicare supplemental insurance policies aim to fill the gap left by Original Medicare. While some people take a risk hoping that they will not get sick, a Medicare supplemental policy is a wise choice for most seniors.
Original Medicare has two main parts. Medicare Part A covers hospital insurance. Medicare Part B covers medical insurance which includes doctors, outpatient services and preventative care. Regular prescription coverage is separate from Medicare Part A and Part B and must be obtained separately.
A Medicare supplemental policy is often called a Medigap. Medigap insurance covers the costs that Original Medicare does not cover. Coinsurance, copayments and deductibles fall into this category. There are ten plans in Medigap which are labeled A through J. Each plan has different benefits to meet different needs. A Medicare supplemental policy is sold by a private company and follows the federal and state laws. Costs vary from company to company, but benefits remain the same. Seniors should compare costs and benefits before deciding on a Medicare supplemental policy.
Additionally and very importantly, Medicare Supplemental Insurance does not cover long-term care, hearing aids, eye glasses, vision care, dental care or private duty nursing.
Once a senior reaches his 65th birthday, he has six months to decide on a plan. This enrollment period is important because it is the only time when a senior can pick any plan and companies cannot deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Once the enrollment period passes for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, a senior’s health conditions will determine the available coverage and the premiums. Buying at age 65 insures that premiums will not get higher due to age or physical condition. Spouses must apply for their protection separately.