Medicare is a wonderful plan that takes care of most of your medical care costs after you turn 65 but it doesn’t pay for everything – for every bill there is a percentage that you will have to pay yourself. At a passing glance these costs may not seem significant – if, for example, Medicare is footing 90% of a hospital stay the rest may not look too steep. But what if your hospital stay cost $20,000 or $30,000? You have to pay 10% of your total bill, which means that you will have to pay up to $3,000 from your own pocket. That is a lot of money even for a senior who has a healthy retirement account. That is why it is a good idea to invest in a Medicare supplement plan. This is an insurance policy that covers any costs that aren’t covered by Medicare – you pay premiums every month so that each time you receive medical care Medicare and the Medicare supplement plan can take care of 100% of the costs.
Want to find Medicare supplement plan?
These plans are available from insurance companies and in most states they are subsidized, which means that so long as you qualify for Medicare you will get lower rates for your supplement plan. That said, you shouldn’t just buy the first plan that you come across – they differ, and the one that you choose should take into account your particular circumstances.
The first thing you have to do is make sure that you qualify for Medicare supplemental insurance. That means you have to be enrolled for Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. Part A takes care of your costs after an inpatient visit, while Part B takes care of outpatient costs.
Once you are enrolled in either of these programs you can start to look at different supplemental plans. The most basic is the Medicare Supplement insurance Plan A which provides Medicare Part A coinsurance, Part B coinsurance or co-payment, the fist 3 pints of blood should you require a transfusion and Part A hospice care coinsurance. That is very basic – many seniors will need more than these services as they grow older, and for those the best plan is the Medicare Supplement insurance Plan F. This is the most comprehensive Medicare supplemental plan available, and it covers skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, Part A deductible, Part B deductible, Part B excess charges and up to 80% of foreign travel emergency care.
It is important to take the time to understand the plans. In most states they are standardized, which means that the insurance companies have to offer them at a certain fixed cost, but because these companies have to make money they have found ways to get around this and you may find yourself paying more than you should. In most states Medicare supplement plans are divided into 3, and each is priced differently:” community (no-age rated), issue age rated and attained age rated. Each of these plans will be offer different benefits and will come in at different price points, so make sure you understand what you are buying based on your current and future needs.
Now that you know what your different options are you may be wondering, when can I buy a Medicare supplement plan? It is recommended that you shop online. The great thing about shopping online is that you are able to compare many different types of plans and you can choose the one that serves your needs best. That said, even if you find a Medicare supplement plan that you like you should rush into it. There are a couple of things that you ought to look into:
Make sure that the company has a physical location that you can visit – some insurance companies exist only online, which means that if things go wrong you will have a hard time tracking them down.
You should look into the background of the company – are they reliable and they known for settling claims quickly. One telling clue is whether a company has cases pending against them in court. If people have sued a company it is an indication that they have problems when it comes to settling claims.
Lastly, look into reviews about customer service – you don’t want to buy healthcare supplement insurance from a company that has a hard time helping clients when they have questions or concerns.