Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Medicare doesn’t sell Medicare Supplement plans. However, it creates plans and oversees them. If you are interested in one of these plans, you need to go to a private health insurance company. It’s been many years that private health insurers are offering Medicare Supplemental health plans to qualified seniors.
What these Supplement plans do is that they fill in the holes left by Original Medicare. That’s why these two plans — Original Medicare and Medicare Supplements — are compatible. It means that you can have both plans at the same time.
Indeed Original Medicare is a robust health plan. It can significantly reduce your medical expenses. However, it doesn’t cover all medical expenses that you may incur. For some seniors, they have a hard time paying for these expenses.
That’s why if you struggle to pay for your healthcare expenses, despite having Original Medicare, then you should consider getting supplemental coverage. It’s especially useful if you are tight on budget.
In this post, we will discuss Medicare Supplemental plans and how they can help you. We will also attempt to assist you in making good choices.
Medicare Supplement Plans 2021
What are the Benefits of Medicare Supplements?
These plans have a particular set of medical coverage benefits. They include predetermined healthcare expenses. The covered items will not change unless Medicare will change them. Keep in mind that Medicare oversees them but private companies sell them.
In other words, private health insurance companies can’t change the coverage for the plans. Currently, there are 10 Supplemental plans. Each plan has its own set of coverage.
For example, Plan F will include all supplemental expenses. Plan G, on the other hand, will also cover all of these supplemental expenses except one. The differences between these two plans are just minor. However, each policy is different and it is designed with a purpose because every senior has individual needs.
The plans will get the coverage from the same set of items. You should know about those items so you will have an idea of what items are covered.
Copayments for Medicare Parts A and B could be covered by Supplement plans, but not all supplemental plans will cover them. They are separate expenses. These expenses are quite common. That said, it’s a good idea to have a supplemental plan that can cover these expenses.
Supplemental plans may also cover Part A deductible and Part B deductible. They, too, are common expenses. And you need to pay for them before your health plan will start covering for you. But you will only pay for them once a year. However, you may be covered for these expenses in some way.
Part B yearly deducible is a relatively small expense. Per year, you will only pay roughly $183. Part A, on the other hand, is quite a huge expense. That said, it makes sense to purchase a Supplemental plan that can cover Part A. It’s also more economical to find a plan that will not cover Part B yearly deductible considering how small the amount is.
A Supplement plan also covers Medicare Part B excess charges. They are expenses that you may incur when you go to a doctor or a hospital that doesn’t honor Medicare. In this situation, you will pay extra for the services you get. Not all supplemental plans will cover this item. Only a couple of them will pay for Part B excess charges.
Coinsurance payment is also another coverage of a Supplemental plan. This payment is for skilled nursing care or hospice care. They are two separate expenses and they are useful for seniors who require these services. They are expenses that you’ll incur after Original Medicare provided its coverage for these healthcare services.
There are also Supplemental plans that will cover your blood usage per year. It is beneficial if you need a blood transfusion during surgery, for instance. Original Medicare covers this expense.
However, it will only cover it after the first three pints of blood have been settled. That’s why it’s useful to have a Medicare Supplemental Insurance in 2020 as it can step in to provide you with some coverage. It covers the first three bags of blood per year.
A Supplemental plan will also cover foreign medical travel. It is an expense that can happen when you need to be transported to a country outside the US borders. However, the cost of transportation is not fully covered. A Medicare Supplemental plan will only include 80% of the entire cost. But there’s a deductible attached to it. However, you’re given up to $50,000 coverage over your lifetime.
Changes of Coverage
The coverage of every Supplement plan will not change suddenly. As mentioned earlier, private health insurance companies can’t change the coverage. It’s only Medicare that can change it.
However, private health insurance companies can set their own rates. But no matter how much they charge for their supplemental plans, the price will not affect the coverage. The set of coverage for every plan is the same no matter where you purchase the plan from.
It’s important to note that some plans will only cover a few of those expenses mentioned above. They cover some of the supplemental expenses by up to 50%. Then again, the coverage is decided by Medicare and not by private health insurance companies. But private health companies can charge what they want for the plan.
In terms of coverage, Medicare reported that it will not change in 2021. Medicare typically announces changes for the coverage a few months before the changes are implemented.
The set of expenses being covered by Medicare Supplements is vital to seniors. They can depend on the coverage to be the same from year to year. And if there are changes made, they will announce them to help them decide whether to stick to their current plan or purchase a new health plan.
You should also change your plan if your medical needs have changed. Keep in mind that every senior’s individual needs will change every year. Your plan in 2019 may not be enough in 2021 because of the changes in your medical condition or financial situation. That’s why you need to be actively studying all your options even though you already have a Supplemental plan.
Is It Worth It to Purchase a Medicare Supplemental Insurance?
You may not need a Medicare Supplemental plan. Medicare designed 10 plans that you can choose from. However, you may not need any of these plans. If, after you have evaluated each plan’s coverage, you might decide to purchase other coverage. Or it could be that you can afford to pay for the supplemental expenses using your own money.
Some seniors consider the cost of this type of plan to be high. If you think that you can’t afford it, then you should consider other coverage.
There are other plans out there that will help you reduce your healthcare costs without having to pay more. Although many seniors have benefited from having a Medicare Supplement, you may not truly benefit from it. That’s why you need to examine your medical needs first and compared them to the available plans.
You should first know what you’re paying for Medicare. Then, you must know the medical treatments you may need throughout the year. But you have to remember that just because you don’t need a certain medical service this year, it doesn’t mean that you won’t need it next year.
Talk to your doctor about the possible medical treatments you may need the following year. In that way, you can plan ahead and choose the right plan for your situation.
Since Medicare Supplement plans are not ideal for every senior, you should examine your medical needs yourself. In that way, you can determine whether or not you need the assistance of a Supplemental plan. It could be that other coverage plans would work better for you. However, you may re-examine these plans later on if things have changed for you.
As you get older, your medical needs may increase. You will also need to visit a hospital or doctor’s office more often. If you think that Original Medicare isn’t enough, you should consider getting a supplemental option.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a Medicare Supplemental plan. There are alternatives to these plans. You just have to explore them all so you will know which one will work best for your situation.
Keep in mind that the goal of having a health plan is to help you pay for your medical bill. That’s why you need to pick the right plan.
Medicare designed 10 Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans. In that case, you will have a variety of options to choose from. So take your time in studying your options and compare each plan. Doing so will help you find out what each plan covers and how it can help you pay for your current healthcare expenses. If you need further help in choosing the right health plan, please give us a call.