Medicare Supplement Plans – Are You Too High?
Medicare Supplement Plans are a good alternative to the original Medicare program. Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything, which makes it a bit more difficult to stay on top of expenses. In addition, Medicare is tied up with a lot of rules that can be confusing and cause problems. Many seniors who are still in their 40’s and older are struggling to keep their finances in order. Fortunately, Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap, can help fill the holes.
It’s important to note that Medicare Supplement Plans aren’t always better than traditional Medicare. It all depends on the individual case. However, if you meet the guidelines you should check into getting a Medigap plan. Here are some tips to help you navigate the new system.
If you live in one of the states mentioned above, you should take a close look at the guidelines for Medicare Advantage plans.
There are state-specific regulations that vary from state to state, so it’s best to learn about them before applying. Some examples of state-specific regulations include the type of hospitals that participate, the maximum amount of out-of-pocket time, and even restrictions on how long you have to remain in your home.
Some states allow insurers to set their standards about when you become eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan benefits. For example, fourteen states have a waiting period before people become eligible for Medigap benefits. Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, Virginia, New York, and Minnesota are just a few of the fifty states that have a minimum waiting period. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, health insurance plans across the country are “diverting” some of their future benefit payments to plans that meet these parameters.
Other states don’t have specific guidelines, so to make sure you know what your current out-of-pocket costs will be when Medicare benefits begin, you need to look at all your options. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The average person would need to save about $1500 a month to be able to afford the top-end hospital plans, according to an analysis of premium costs by The Insurance Information Institute…for people who would soon qualify for Medigap policies.”
That cost doesn’t include out-of-pocket costs like co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles, which can also add up quickly. Another significant expense that most people don’t think to factor into their budget is the Medicare Supplement Plan premiums. Most people pay more for their Medicare Supplement plans than they do for their primary plan out of pocket.
There are other things to consider as well. If you’re getting a Medigap policy, you might want to check to see if the plan includes emergency care, which is not covered with most Medicare supplements. Also, since many plans have a limit on the number of times a person can be seen for a particular medical problem, you’ll want to double-check to make sure you have the coverage you need.
Finally, it’s important to understand that the Medicare Supplement Plans
are standardized so that everyone within your family can get the same benefits. So, if you’ve been denied because your medical costs exceed their projected maximum, don’t give up–you may be able to still get the coverage you need.