Seniors age 65 and over have the option to enroll in the Government funded Medicare plan. This special plan provides low cost, high-quality health insurance coverage to those who have reached the age of retirement and the status of Senior Citizen.
Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Soon (December 7)
Medicare Supplemental Insurance extends coverage over healthcare costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. Different plans offer different amounts of coverage and the costs can vary substantially. Click here to find the best plan to fit your needs and get an actual quote.
Click here to find the best plan to fit your needs and get an actual quote.
Medicare is available only to those who are US citizens and are at least 65
years old. Medicare is not a one size fits all plan either; there are four different options available to choose from depending on the needs of the senior. Each plan has different coverage limits and different prices.
Many people find that even with their coverage from Medicare, there are other health care expenses that are left unpaid for in their health needs, including areas like some prescriptions drugs, in home nursing care or specialty health treatments. Because these services are generally quite expensive, it is helpful for a Medicare recipient to purchase Medicare Supplemental Insurance. This insurance, also commonly called “Medigap” insurance, fills the voids that are left with Medicare and provides seniors on Medicare with more complete health insurance coverage.
Like Medicare, there are several options to choose from when selecting a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan. Each plan offers different levels of protection, and costs vary according to the plan selected. With ten different Medigap options to choose from, there is a plan for each person that can provide you with the health coverage you need.
Take advantage of your senior status and enroll in Medicare, if you have not already done so, and look into purchasing a Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for other health care expenses.
Possibilities for large out-of-pocket costs
Some of the out-of-pocket costs Medicare beneficiaries face are easy to understand. Costs like monthly premiums, annual deductibles and co pays and coinsurance associated with various Medicare services; however, there are other Medicare costs that are far more difficult to discern that could lead to surprise medical bills. Here are some Medicare costs you might unexpectedly incur in retirement:
Your free annual checkup might not be free. During the first 12 months you have Medicare Part B, you can get a free “Welcome to Medicare” preventive care doctor’s visit, and after that you are eligible for a free annual wellness checkup. Depending on what tests or services your doctor orders during this visit, you may still end up with a bill. While Medicare covers a variety of preventive care services with no cost-sharing requirements, if your doctor recommends a test or procedure that isn’t considered preventive or you get a test more often than Medicare covers it, you may have to pay coinsurance and the Part B deductible may apply. For example, a colonoscopy is covered once every 120 months for most Medicare beneficiaries and typically costs nothing for the recipient, but if a polyp or other suspicious tissue is discovered and removed during the colonoscopy, you may have to pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s services and a co payment to the medical establishment where the procedure was performed.
No annual limit on out-of-pocket costs. With original Medicare, retirees can expect to pay a Part B deductible, co pays and coinsurance amounting to 20 percent of the Medicare‑approved amount for most services. There’s no annual limit on what retirees could be expected to pay out-of-pocket. Out-of-pocket costs can be high, for example, If you have major surgery. You might find that your 20 percent coinsurance could be thousands of dollars or possibly tens of thousands of dollars. Supplemental insurance policies can often protect you from these sometimes catastrophically high costs; an extremely good reason to take out such a policy.
For more information on purchasing Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Please Click Here
Medicare Part D plans have formulas that list which drugs are covered and the cost-sharing requirements. Some Part D plans also require prior authorization before you can fill certain prescriptions or might require you to try similar lower-cost drugs or generic drugs before a plan will cover a more expensive prescribed drug. There may also be quantity limits on how much medication you can get at a time.
Medicare Part D has a coverage gap. Most Medicare drug plans have a coverage gap that begins after a retiree incurs $2,850* in prescription drug costs and ends when drug costs reach $6,691* in 2014 and catastrophic coverage kicks in. In the coverage gap, retirees are responsible for 47.5 percent of the cost for brand-name drugs and 72 percent of the cost for generic medications in 2014. Part D has the doughnut hole that it going to be closed, but there’s a sizable liability there for people who have substantial prescription drug costs. Some Part D plans offer additional gap coverage in exchange for higher premiums. The coverage gap is scheduled to be eliminated by 2020.
*These amounts change from year to year so check your plan