Medicare Supplement Insurance Explained

Medical costs are of prime importance to a majority of Americans. Seniors approaching the age of 65 are heavily impacted with the increasing costs of healthcare services. They are also very worried about skyrocketing medical bills. Medicare supplement insurance provides a huge respite to such people.

As a general rule, Medicare covers up to 80% of different types of medical treatments, hospital stays, equipments etc. The precise amount of coverage offered depends on whether you have Part A coverage or whether you have decided to opt for Part B coverage also.

Even with Part B coverage, many individuals are forced to pay the remaining 20% of the medical costs that is not covered by the health plan. This gap is commonly known as the co-payment amount and sometimes people cannot pay it in the form of cash.

A supplemental policy is commonly known as Medigap and is issued by private companies and not by the government. These policies are designed to aid people to furnish the co-payment amount. Even though these policies are managed by different firms, they have to fall under the guidelines of Medicare.

There are a total of 12 standardized medicare supplement insurance plans available at present which are labeled from “A” through “L”. They offer different benefits at different prices which are dependent on the co-payment required by the individual. Even though the level and the type of coverage in each plan vary, every Medigap plan has to provide the minimum benefits of Medicare.

Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Select

This is another option that is widely used. It is a Supplemental policy and is less expensive compared to other plans. The only major disadvantage of this policy is that you’ll be restricted to a few doctors and hospitals for your requirements on health care.

The benefits of the 12 Medigap policies do not differ from company to company. For instance, if you buy a plan “A”, it will be absolutely identical no matter which insurance firm you go by. The only difference will be the premiums. Remember that by paying a higher premium you will receive something extra than what is included in the standardized plan.

The ideal time to buy a medicare supplement insurance policy is in the period lasting for 6 months after you have enrolled in Part B. During this period insurers will be obliged to accept you no matter what your pre-existing health conditions are.

Premiums of Medigap plans are established by the following methods:

Attained age: This results in the lowest premiums, especially for those who have just turned 65. However, the premiums will increase as you age.

Issue age: Premiums are dependent on your age at the time you purchase the policy. However, this will not increase even if you get older.

The benefits of the health insurance policies are attuned on the 1st of January every year to cater to the inflation.