Medicare can be a wonderful resource for those who are eligible – generally people over 65. There are a number of different plans, and an individual should consider which is best for his or her own situation. Medicare Supplement Plan M is an addition to regular Medicare and is a good option for people who haven’t been in the hospital recently and don’t expect to need to go to a hospital soon for regular medical treatment or complications due to chronic conditions.
With Medicare Supplement Plan M you have lower premiums than the most common Medicare Plan – about 15% lower on average. In exchange you pay 50% of the Medicare Part A deductible (which covers hospital stays and associated costs). In 2010 the deductible was about $1,100. The lower premiums are appealing, but make sure to be realistic about if you will need to go the hospital and thus pay a higher deductible.
Since you are responsible for 50% of your deductible with Medicare Supplement Plan M, it equates to $550 out of your pocket. If cutting your premiums by 15% will save you $550 or more, you will be saving money even if you go to the hospital. If the money you save on premiums is less than $550, you could end up spending more money than you saved if you have to go to the hospital. You can never plan for emergencies like car accidents or falls, but if you have a chronic condition or at high risk for a heart attack or other condition you should consider when calculating your costs. A few minutes with a calculator can answer this for you. You may also want to speak to your healthcare provider since they usually know more about the healthcare system and costs than others.