Supplement plans provide exceptional medical coverage that can be beneficial to seniors who already have a basic Medicare plan. These supplemental plans attach onto the base plane and provide more coverage for essential healthcare services. We are going to show you what these plans have to offer and talk about why you may want to consider signing up for Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2019.
Who Can Use Medicare Supplements?
It’s important to note that these plans are not available to everyone. Some people will need to wait until they are eligible to be able to sign up for them. If you are not eligible right now, you may be eligible in the future. In order to be eligible, your first need to be 65 years of age. If you have a disability or certain other medical conditions, you may be eligible earlier than that age.
You also need to be a US citizen, and it can help to have been paying your taxes for several years while working as well. This can reduce the rates you pay for the plans, but it doesn’t affect your eligibility in any way. If your spouse worked for several years, then the same benefits can apply to you that reduce your overall costs for medical insurance.
You can only sign up for a Medicare Supplement if you have a basic Medicare plan. In other words, basic Medicare is a prerequisite for Medicare supplemental insurance. If you are not sure if you want a basic Medicare plan, then you should hold off of putting too much effort into finding the right Supplement plan.
What Is Supplemental Insurance?
There are ten different supplemental insurance plans, and you can pick from them to find the one that suits you best. You may find that none of them are a good fit for you or that several of them look like good options. You will need to narrow down your choices to just one plan, though, since you can only be signed up for one plan at once. These are plans that are compatible with basic Medicare, of course, but not all other medial insurance plans. They are compatible with Medicare Part D, but not Part C or many employer or union medical coverage plans. Be sure you know what plans are compatible from what you already have before you sign up. Otherwise, you will have to drop one of your plans.
Supplement plans cover some or all of what are called supplemental medical expenses. These are medical services and costs that you could experience over your lifetime, and the coverage provided for them may be full or partial, depending on the Medicare Supplement plan you choose.
The coverage can include a few or a lot of different supplemental items. Let’s look at what those items actually are and what you can be covered for.
Medicare’s basic plan pays for Medicare Part A and Part B services. This accounts for lots of inpatient and outpatient medical expenses. However, once it covers those expenses, it expects you to pay the copayment on those plans. That is something you would have to pay for each visit you make to the medical facility of your choice for your treatment. The Part A copayment and the Part B copayment are two separate items, so not all Supplements will cover both of these.
You also have to pay a deductible for both of those parts, once you have Medicare’s basic coverage. The deductible is paid only once each year, and once again, these two deductibles are considered two separate expenses. Most of the Supplement plans cover the Part A deducible, but few of them cover the Part B one for you. That Part B deducible will only cost $183 per year, though, so you may be better off paying it yourself than paying to have it covered by an insurance plan.
The Part B excess charges can be covered by some Supplement plans as well. This is not very common, but for those who experience it often, it can be a useful item to have covered.
Your hospice care coinsurance can be covered too. Like the Part A and Part B copayments, this is something you pay for each service you receive related to a particular type of medical care. In this case, it is hospice care. Medicare Supplement Insurance for 2019 often covers this expense, no matter which of the ten plans you choose.
Your nursing care coinsurance can be covered as well. Like the hospice care, you pay for this expense each time you receive the service, but some supplemental plans can cover it for you.
You can also be covered for the foreign emergency travel care you receive. If you need to be airlifted or otherwise transported into a medical care facility that is outside the US borders, it can cost you, but this item of coverage will take care of much of that expense for you. Even the most comprehensive of the Medicare Supplement plans will not cover you for all of this item, but most cover you for 80% of the cost, minus an annual deductible.
The blood you use may be covered as well, up to three pints. This is renewed annually, so if you use it all up one year, just know that it will be back to cover you the next year.
That all the Medicare supplemental coverage, and now you have an idea about what you can be covered for. Now, let’s take a look at whether you need this kind of coverage or not.
Benefits of Choosing Supplemental Coverage
If you sign up for one of these Supplement plans, you can save money on medical care. It’s not guaranteed that you will cut your healthcare costs down a bit, but if you choose the right plan and you actually need the coverage, this can be a great cost saving method for you.
There is set coverage for all these plans. So, each of the ten plans is guaranteed to have its standard coverage. However, the price of the plans is always in flux. That’s not a part of these plans that Medicare will oversee or regulate, so you have to do your best to find the cheapest price you can. The price of the plan does not affect the coverage, though, since the coverage stays the same no matter who sells it or what they choose to charge for it.
The prices vary from one insurance company to the next, so if you want to find the best possible price, then you need to spend some time comparing insurance companies that sell these plans. Only some of them will offer decent prices while others will overcharge you, and you need to watch out for that.
You may or may not need Supplement plans. Not everyone does, but you need to take a careful look at your needs and how much you are paying for medical care, though. Consider if it is cheaper to have those expenses covered by an insurance plan or if it is better to pay for the services yourself. You should never pay more with an insurance plan than you would without it for any medial care you receive. If you do, then you picked a plan that isn’t doing its job for you.
You should only sign up for Medicare Supplements if they are a good fit for you, your needs and your budget right now. You may find in a few years that one of these plans will work better for you than it does right now. You can always wait until well after age 65 to sign up for one of the plans.
The benefit to using the most appropriate Medicare Supplement plan is that you save a lot of money. You can pay far less than someone paying for the same medical care out of their own pockets. You also get to choose from one of ten different plans, so there should be no problem in finding a suitable plan for you, if you need this kind of coverage.
If Medicare Supplements do not cover you like you think you need to be, then you can always look into other insurance options. This is not your only choice, and you want to take the time and effort to ensure that you are choosing the most suitable plan for your current needs.
Supplemental insurance has the potential to do a lot for you. It can make you more likely to actually go to your doctor or hospital for care. It can also greatly reduce how much you pay out of pocket for medical care. In order to make the most of the potential of these plans, though, you need to carefully chose the right plan. Look at what is being offered for Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2019. Hopefully, you can find a plan that fits you well and that doesn’t stretch your budget.