There’s a Better Way to Handle Your Medicare Bills
Understanding the totality of your healthcare benefits could be one of the most frustrating aspects of healthcare. In the case of Medicare coverage, there are extra out-of-pocket expenses that have to be paid by the beneficiary, which can be quite confusing and overwhelming to many Medicare holders.
Such an issue led private insurance companies to provide 10 standardized Medicare supplement riders as a solution. These plans are known as Medicare health supplement plans (Medigap). Bridging your Medicare coverage gap with a supplement plan can protect you from all sorts of extra expenses.
This way you can worry less about managing healthcare bills so you can spend your time enjoying retirement instead of calculating how much you might end up paying.
What are Medicare Supplemental Policies? How do they differ?
Medigap plans are sold by private insurance carriers. One thing worth noting is that these plans are standardized, meaning they all have to follow federal guidelines no matter where they are sold or who sells them.
These plans have the same requirements in common; the only thing that differs from plan to plan is the copays, deductibles, etc…
– In order to obtain Medicare Supplement Insurance coverage, Medicare beneficiaries have to have both Parts (A & B), also known as Original Medicare
– Medigap plans do not offer joint plans. A Medigap policy only covers one person. For example, a married couple will need two separate policies, one for each spouse.
– Medigap plans are standardized. For example, Plan A sold in Georgia offers the same benefits as Plan A in Texas
– Although these plans are standardized, the premium of each plan differs from one insurance carrier to another based on extra service offered with the policy.
To know more about Medigap plans, read more!
Paying for your Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage
If you have Original Medicare (Part A & B) coverage in addition to one of Medicare Supplement Plan riders, you will end up paying premiums for both of them separately. The first premium for Part B of Medicare and the other for the Medigap insurance coverage; This is assuming you have no premiums to pay for Medicare Part A, which you do not have to pay if you are 65 or older, and you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.
Medicare Part B premium is taken from your Social Security income check, but on the other hand, you have to pay for your Medigap premium, and that is done directly with your insurance carrier.
Medicare Supplement Insurance coverage in conjunction with Original Medicare coverage covers some, if not most, out-of-pocket expenses; however, certain things like outpatient prescription drugs are not covered. If this is one of your main needs, you should consider a separate Part D coverage policy, which will leave you with a third premium to pay as well.
What does it cover?
Medigap covers the expenses you, as a Medicare holder, would have to pay out-of-pocket. It is important to note that such expenses are covered by Medicare, however, not in full.
In most cases, an insurance rider for Medicare handles out-of-pocket expenses for services that are Medicare approved, which means non-approved services, such as dental and vision, are not covered.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Cost
Although these plans are standardized when it comes to base benefits, insurance companies charge different premiums based on extra services offered with Medigap plans. However, what Medigap insurance may cover with the plan of your choice remains the same nationwide, regardless of who sells the plan or where it is sold. If you’d like to know more about Medigap plans, read more.
What About Deductibles and Coinsurance?
Medicare Parts A and B both come with deductibles and coinsurance. When the deductible is met, Part B of Medicare covers 80% of the approved amount, which leaves you responsible for paying the remaining 20% with no limit on the out-of-pocket expenses.
For every benefit period, Part A applies a deductible, and then coinsurance starts to accrue after 60 days in the hospital. Although it is termed ‘coinsurance’, it is actually a fixed daily amount, not a percentage of the cost.
If you stay beyond 20 days in a skilled nursing facility, a coinsurance charge is applied as per Medicare Part A. As in the case of Medicare Part B, there is no limit on the out-of-pocket expenses under Part A. This is when Medigap add on insurance for Medicare comes in to protect you from paying these deductibles and coinsurance expenses.