5 Reasons to Consider Supplemental Medicare Insurance

May 7th 2016

Medicare is a health insurance program offered through the federal government. It's intended to provide for the medical needs of seniors older than age 65, along with those under 65 who suffer from disabilities. Medicare Parts A and B cover a great deal of medical bills a senior is likely to see. However, it doesn't cover every single expense that comes your way. If you're struggling with the types of payments that Medicare doesn't pick up, you may want to consider supplemental Medicare insurance, known as Medigap. It goes through private insurers and you do pay a premium, but these programs have several advantages that are worth checking out. 

Coverage for Incidental Costs

Medicare has co-insurance, co-payments and deductible payments that it does not cover. If you go to a doctor on a regular basis, these costs add up quickly, especially if you don't have a big retirement fund handy. Medigap insurance covers these costs, giving you more peace of mind so you aren't stressed about medical bills. Medigap is available for Medicare Parts A and B plans, but this plan is not compatible with Medicare Advantage Plans unless you leave this plan before the new policy comes into effect. Instead of paying thousands of dollars a year in deductibles and co-payments, you pay the monthly premium to Medigap. 

Your Choice

You are limited to a single provider for Medigap insurance. If you have a problem with a particular insurance company, it's easy enough to choose another provider. Check to make sure that the provider you're working with is authorized to provide this type of insurance. Each insurance company within the same state has to provide identical basic benefits, so you're really choosing based on customer service, ease of use and other aspects, instead of the service they offer. 

Plenty of Options

Medigap has 10 different programs to enroll in, so you get to choose the best one that works for you instead of getting coverage that isn't relevant to your situation at all. The pricing also substantially changes depending on which Medigap plan you choose. You may pay as little as $50 per month, or you may be on the hook for over $200 per month. When you're already paying for Medicare Plan B, an extra medical premium is a tough pill to swallow. Do some comparison shopping, and do your best to predict future needs to find out which one works the best for you. 

Overseas Coverage

One big failing of Medicare is its lack of overseas coverage. While the countries you visit may be happy to help you out in the event of an emergency, it's always better to be properly covered. Certain Medigap plans give you coverage during your travels, so you aren't left wondering how you're going to pay for a broken bone or another problem while you're abroad. The best part about Medigap is that if you don't need this perk, you have several other plans to choose from that won't charge you for unneeded features. 

Guaranteed Renewals

While the Affordable Care Act cut out a lot of issues surrounding pre-existing condition coverage, it's always good to know that you get guaranteed renewals with this plan. All you need to do is keep up with your monthly payment, and the company cannot end your insurance coverage. It's important to not drop Medigap coverage, as you can only get low price, guaranteed coverage within the first six months of turning 65 or a Plan B purchase. Otherwise, it's up to the insurance company. If you ever drop Medigap, most companies do not allow you to re-enroll. 




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