When people in the United States turn 65, they will be eligible for their Medicare benefits. This is provided they paid into the system for 40 quarters (10 years) through payroll taxes. Included in this healthcare plan is Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A is coverage for hospitalizations. If Medicare recipients need to be admitted to a hospital, a skilled nursing facility, a nursing home or hospice, Medicare Part A will cover the cost. In some circumstances, this plan will cover the care they receive in their own homes. Including a Medicare Supplement Plan G with their coverage is a very wise decision as well. To understand why you’ll need to learn what Medicare covers, and what it does not.
What Is Covered under Medicare Part B?
Senior citizens have coverage for other medical services besides hospitalizations, and these will be covered by Medicare Part B. The services and equipment required to diagnose a medical condition fall under Medicare Part B. Services that will help prevent illnesses will also be covered.
If Medicare recipients are to be involved in a research study, their Medicare Part B may cover the cost. They will also be entitled to receive the following:
• Payment if they need to be transported by way of ambulance
• Payment for necessary durable medical equipment
• Inpatient and outpatient mental health services
• Partial hospitalizations at mental health facilities
• Second opinions if the patient’s primary physician believes that surgery is necessary
• Some prescription medications
Why Is Medicare Supplement Insurance Necessary?
Although Medicare Parts A and B appear to cover a great deal of the services that senior citizens may need, they do not cover absolutely everything. Medicare is said to have gaps, and this is the reason that insurance companies began to offer supplemental coverage. This supplemental coverage is known as “Medigap” because it fills the gaps that Medicare leaves behind for the patients to pay.
What Is Medicare Supplement Plan G?
One of the most extensive Medigap plans is Medicare Supplement Plan G. Medicare Part A requires that patients pay a portion of the cost in what is called “co-insurance.” Plan G will cover 100 percent of the cost of this co-insurance when people need to be hospitalized at any of the facilities listed above. If patients remain hospitalized after their Medicare Part A coverage ends, Plan G will cover these expenses for up to one year.
When people visit their doctors and receive other medical services, they will first need to pay the annual, one-time, Part B deductible. Plan G pays 100 percent of the co-insurance after this deductible is met. If Medicare recipients need to have blood drawn, Medicare Supplement Plan G will cover the entire cost for the first three pints.
Medicare Part A has a deductible that Medicare recipients must pay. If they have Medicare Part G, the deductible will be paid by their supplemental coverage. However, this plan does not cover the deductible required under Medicare Part B. Although it does not pay the deductible, Plan G will pay any excess charges that result from office visits or other medically necessary services.
In some cases, Medicare recipients will have coverage for medical care they receive while traveling outside of the country. If they are injured or become sick and seek emergency care, Plan G will cover the cost up to the policy’s limits.
What Is the Open Enrollment Period?
Once people turn age 65 and become eligible for Medicare, they are in what is called the “open enrollment period.” This period lasts six months, and it is a very important time for purchasing Medigap insurance. During this six-month period, insurance companies may not turn applicants down for any reason, and they may not charge applicants more for a Medigap policy if they have a pre-existing condition. Applicants must be allowed to choose Medigap Plan G if this is what they wish without restrictions.
How to Find Insurance Companies that Sell Medicare Supplement Plan G
Private insurance companies sell Medigap policies in every state. You can easily find out which companies offer Medigap Plan G coverage by using this website. Simply enter your zip code at the top of this page and compare up to ten top-rated companies offering Medicare Supplement Plan G, as well as get premiums from each.
It’s important to remember that each company has the exact same coverage but the premiums vary widely, so be sure to check rates from each company!