Is Medicare Supplement Coverage Still A Good Plan?

As people age, their medical needs become more intense and require more expense that in their younger years. A person’s very life may depend upon the type of medical coverage they have because if there is not enough coverage from the insurance, the cost of the treatment may not be covered. Fortunately there is a plan that covers all of the bills, and that is Medicare Supplement coverage in conjunction with Medicare.

80 percent of most of the bills are covered by Medicare (few have deductibles and then 80% kicks in). The balance is what is picked up by a Medicare Supplement plan (also called Medigap plans). With Medicare plan G you can know that all most of your doctor and hospital bill will be picked up, that is a great relief. Medicare Supplement plans are available to all qualified Americans who are age 65 or older, and to people who are totally disabled before they are age 65.

The Medigap plans are relatively inexpensive comparatively speaking so that most people can afford the plan rather than having to afford the whole cost of any treatments that might ensue down the road. People are not ready to be able to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical care, which can mount up even in the 20 per cent gap.

People can purchase Medigap coverage from a health insurance agent as early as 90 days prior to their 65th birthday, without any penalty for pre-existing conditions. This gives people bedrock security and they will know that they will receive the best possible coverage for any trial that may occur to the medically.

You should contact a health insurance agent in order to purchase a policy, and you will be able to get quotes for several companies in order to get the best price for your needs.

Defining the Different California Medicare Plans

The different California Medicare plans have been designed to assist seniors in covering their hospital and medical healthcare. There are three components to the traditional plans for Medicare in the state of California. This includes Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D. In addition, there is Medicare Advantage that works as an alternative insurance over traditional Medicare.

Medicare Part A assists senior citizens with their hospital insurance costs. The coverage provided by Medicare is very specific. Generally, the insurance offers a benefit period with only minor gaps for home health care, hospice care, skilled nursing care and 3 pints of blood used in a blood transfusion.

Medicare Part B is designed to assist senior citizens with their doctor’s visits and out-patient procedures. Additionally there is a gap in the coverage and a large 20% deductible for traditional ongoing charges.

California Medicare Part D is designed as a way for senior citizens to cover their prescription drugs. Various plans offer different coverage based on the type of prescription medications the senior requires. This California Medicare plan works to offset ongoing prescription medications that are typically not covered under a traditional Medicare plan in California.

California Medicare Advantage

In addition, Medicare Advantage plans are available as an alternative to traditional Part A and Part B Medicare. These alternative plans have been approved by Medicare. They are generally operated by private companies including PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) and HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations).

Obtaining supplemental insurance provides the opportunity to be covered when admitted to the hospital, or if you are suffering from an ongoing health condition that can rack up huge medical bills. The different California plans for medical supplement insurance covers a variety of different gaps in traditional Medicare coverage.

With a variety of solutions available in Medicare coverage, senior citizens can reduce their out-of-pocket expenses every month.

Going on Medicare

As people age, they will need to receive benefits from the government. The government health benefits are through the Medicare system. People that need to receive Medicare assistance will find that there are many different provisions that can help them with the cost of their medical bills and medications.

When an elderly person has several questions about the Medicare system and the Medicare supplement quotes, they should first look on the Internet for answers. The government provides a website that explains all the different aspects of Medicare and supplemental insurance information on this site.

Since many elderly people will have questions about their coverage, there is also an 800 number that they can call in order to speak to a live representative or if you are on a California Medicare supplement you can contact your agent. This will be provided to them when they reach the age that they can receive the Medicare benefits. They will receive a packet in the mail that provides them with all the necessary information and the phone numbers for their information. A person should make sure that they write down the questions that they have so they can have them answered in a timely manner.

When people are on Medicare, they should remember to carry their card in their wallet or purse. This card is very instrumental for processing purposes when they are admitted to a hospital or visiting a doctor. If they lose their card for any reason, they will be able to reorder another one when they give the Medicare office their basic information. Their basic information is their name, address, phone number, age and social security number.

Medicare is very instrumental in assisting the elderly with their medical coverage. People that are not seniors may also be able to receive the benefits depending on what their medical ailments are. In the cases of younger people, they would have ailments that prevent them from working in a job to pay their own benefits. It is important that people on Medicare benefits understand what they currently are receiving and to take advantage of any further help that may be available for them.

Medicare Advantage Plans vs. Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

Senior citizens who are eligible for Medicare are faced with choosing a Medicare plan that best suits their needs. However, this can be very confusing since there are several options available. Basic Medicare is not enough insurance to cover most individuals. Therefore, there are two options available in which seniors must choose from to supplement their Basic Medicare. The two plans are Medicare supplemental insurance plans and Medicare Advantage plans. It is very important to know the difference between these two plans in order to determine which plan is best as they are easily confused with each other.

Medicare supplements are insurance policies that can be purchased by seniors to cover the gaps left by Medicare. This insurance is often referred to as Gap Insurance. The gaps that are left include, coinsurance, deductibles, copays, laboratory expenses, surgeries, hospital stays, as well as other unforeseen medical expenses. There are dozens of Medicare Supplements out there to choose from, and they all cover the same type of services. Even though all Medicare supplement insurance companies provide coverage for the same service, they don’t all provide the same amount of coverage. Therefore, you need to take into consideration where you stand as far as your health to determine which plan is the best financial choice. Plans can get pricey depending on the amount of coverage. It may be cheaper for someone who rarely goes to a doctor to choose a plan with more out of pocket expense rather than paying higher premiums. All doctors and medical facilities that accept Medicare Insurance accept Medicare Supplement insurance. The average premium for Medicare Supplements is $150 per month.

Medicare Advantage Plans are issued by private insurance companies that receive subsidy from Medicare Insurance. Medicare pays the private insurance company a premium to cover the individual. Medicare is essentially selling your insurance to the private insurance company. Your Medicare Advantage Plan is then liable to pay all of your covered benefits. All Medicare Advantage Plans are required to provide the same coverage as Medicare-covered benefits. Medical Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Private Fee-for-Service Plan (PFFS) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPOs). Since these plans are private owned companies they have their own network of doctors and facilities. If you choose to use a provider out of network you may have to pay out of pocket costs. These cost are usually deductibles, co-pays and unreasonable charges incurred by non-participating doctors and facilities. Therefore, it is wise to find and establish doctors within your network. The biggest advantage to choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan is that the average premium is approximately $50 per month and sometimes free. The disadvantage is not every Medicare provider accepts these plans.

Medicare Coverage Gaps

There are nine coverage gaps in all between Medicare Part A and Medicare part B.  For Medicare Part A you have

  • a deductible if $1,187
  • coinsurance for any days spent over the 60th day in the hospital
  • coinsurance for hospice care
  • coinsurance for skilled nursing care
  • no coverage for the first three pints of blood in the even that you need a blood transfusion

For Medicare Part B you have

  • a deductible of $147
  • coinsurance of 20% of whatever charges you incur under that program
  • to pay for any charges that a doctor may charge you that are above the Medicare approved amount

Neither Medicare Part A nor Part B provides for coverage in a foreign travel emergency.  That means that if you get sick or injured while traveling you will have to foot the whole bill.  You can remedy this with either a Medicare Advantage policy or a Medigap plan.  You can get travel coverage for both of these and both the Medigap premiums and Medicare Advantage premiums can be very affordable.

Medicare Today

Medicare was introduced by the U.S. federal government in 1965. In simple terms, Medicare is a national insurance program designed to guarantee health insurance for Americans of the age of 65 and older as those with disabilities who are under the age of 65. Medicare differs from private insurance providers in that it spreads the risk associated with healthcare and illness across society to protect everyone. Private insurance providers manage their risk portfolio by adjusting their pricing according to the perceived risk.

Medicare offers all of its enrollees a defined benefit. Medicare Part A covers hospital care, while Part B covers outpatient medical services. To cover the Part A and Part B benefits, enrollees are provided with a choice between an open-network single payer health care plan (traditional Medicare) and a network plan known as Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C. With Medicare Part C, the federal government is paying for private health coverage. As of 2012, about 76% of participants elected to go with traditional Medicare over a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicare Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs through private plans or through Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription coverage.

On average, Medicare covers about half of health care costs for its participants. Participants must cover the rest of the cost. The out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the type of health care one requires. To minimize these costs, enrollees can enroll in private Medicare supplemental insurance programs, of which Medicare supplement plan F is the most popular. These programs are regulated by the government, but offered by private insurance carriers.