If you or someone you know is 65 years of age or older, or living with some form of disability there’s a big chance the term Medicare is not new to you.
Today, the government-funded federal health insurance program is said to benefit roughly over 44 million US citizens, with estimates indicating that this number could rise to 79 million by the year 2030.
But for reasons that will be revealed in this post, just a mere 10% of the covered population relies solely on Medicare for their healthcare and medical needs.
This is enough to give you a hint on just how important it is to supplement your Medicare coverage with another medical insurance program.
What Is Medicare And How Does It Help You?
As already mentioned, Medicare is a federally-funded health insurance program that covers folks aged 65 or older, younger people with certain disabilities, and those with advanced kidney disease. It is available in three main categories, including Part A, Part B, and Part D, all of which vary in terms of monthly premium payments and what’s covered.
Common Loopholes with Medicare
Unlike many alternative health insurance policies, there’s a wide range of health issues, treatments, services, and procedures not covered by the Medicare program.
Many on the long list, some of these may include long-term nursing, cosmetic surgeries, certain types of dental procedures, hearing aids, and visual exams associated with prescribing spectacles. And more often than not, Medicare will only cover 80% of the medical costs incurred by the insured person.
Four Tips When Getting Medical Coverage to Supplement Medicare
1. Consider Your Medical Needs
The loopholes discussed above are more than enough reasons to supplement your Medicare plan with private health insurance. However, private health insurance doesn’t come cheap, and this consequently explains why healthcare is expensive these days.
This makes it quite crucial to determine your specific healthcare needs and choose medical coverage that you’re sure will cover those needs.
2. Consider Medigap
Despite being a private insurance health policy, Medigap is among the most popular options for Americans seeking to supplement their Medicare coverage. And as the name suggests, it is basically designed to seal the gap left by Medicare for the policyholders, more so for Part A and B plans.
What Does Medigap Cover?
Sometimes people are confused about whether to choose Medicare Advantage or Medigap, but while both options offer great benefits, Medigap seems to offer more coverage as a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.
A Medigap cover can help give you peace of mind in several ways. For instance, it can help eliminate out-of-pocket costs when you really need to receive care not covered by your Medicare plan, including the advantage plan.
Available in various plans denoted by alphabets from letter A all the way up to N, different Medigap plans may have different features, which are standardized regardless of the company you approach for additional insurance:
- Out-of-pocket costs in Part A or Part B Medicare
- Healthcare needs during travel
- Doctor’s costs
- Long term Care
3. Consider Your Budget
After determining that you need to supplement your Medicare coverage, the next important step is considering your budget before getting extra healthcare coverage. The last thing you want is to commit to a health insurance plan that will leave you in financial woes.
And this makes it important to approach the market wisely, comparing and contrasting the different features available for each plan, and the costs of different companies. At times, many private health insurance companies also provide cost-sharing incentives and discounts that you might want to take advantage of.
4. Read Understand Your Policy before Signing Up
After determining the health insurance plan that would suit your needs, it’s also important to understand the differences between the terms used by different policy providers. For example, when you sign up for a plan, what will it do for you and what will it not do for you?
What are the limits for different medical insurance plans? Is there a specific list of health facilities/providers you visit for your cover to be applicable?
The above are just some of the things to keep in mind when you are selecting the best health insurance company to work with, especially if you happen to be older and on Medicare. Hopefully, they will go a long way in helping reduce the stress involved in searching for the perfect plan for your needs.