Supplemental Medical Insurance – The Benefits
Medicare is great, but it doesn't cover all your medical costs. What do you do now? Consider supplemental insurance. Even if you have Medicare, which you should if you're 65 years of age or older, you may also opt for additional coverage for items and services that basic Medicare services don't cover.
Medicare offers a variety of supplemental insurance plans. Some help cover deductibles and expenses not covered under Medicare Part A, while others do the same for Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part A covers hospital care, skilled nursing facility care following a minimum three-day hospital stay, and some hospice and home healthcare services. Medicare Part B medical coverage helps to pay for your medical expenses in outpatient hospital treatment facilities, for doctor's visits, as well as clinical laboratory work and services. Medicare Part D is your prescription drug coverage plan, and helps to pay for both brand-name and generic prescription drugs.
All of these benefits are included in your basic Medicare health insurance plan up to a cap limit, but some things are not covered, including routine eye care, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. While Medicare Part A covers skilled nursing facility care, it only does so for 100 days. Medicare does not provide custodial services such as those provided by nurses aides for help with grooming, bathing, toileting, or other activities related to daily living.
You may supplement your insurance coverage by opting for any of ten supplemental medical insurance plans offered by Medicare, or by opting to purchase supplemental insurance through any of a number of national insurance carriers that offer individual supplemental insurance plans.
Medicare supplement plans provide a variety of basic benefits, depending on which plan you choose. Some may help with co-payments or for hospital expenses for certain days of the Medicare benefit period. Some may also pay for all Medicare eligible hospital charges for an additional 365 days in your lifetime after your basic Medicare hospital benefits have been used up. Medicare supplemental insurance plans may also help cover co-insurance for hospice care as well as inpatient respite care and outpatient drugs and therapies.
Go online to explore the benefits and coverage offered by each of the ten Medicare supplement plans to best determine which ones will meet your current as well as foreseeable needs. Some pay up to 80% of billed charges for foreign travel emergency care, while others will help pay for skilled nursing facility care and services. Some help to pay deductible and out-of-pocket expenses as well as co-payments.
Medicare supplemental insurance plans are available to all individuals 65 years of age or older. Medicare suggests that individuals enroll for a Medicare supplemental plan within six months of enrolling in Medicare Part B. Keep in mind that you must have both Medicare Parts A and B to be eligible for purchasing a supplemental Medicare insurance plan.
Major national health insurance carriers also offer a variety of supplemental insurance plans. Some of the most common supplemental insurance providers include:
Research comparisons, features, convenience and customer service for supplemental insurance providers. Prices for supplemental insurance through national carriers such as those listed above may range between $150 a month to $400 a year.
When choosing a policy, look for one that covers additional costs that your Medicare insurance plan doesn't cover including extended hospital stays or at home healthcare, or in-home care.
Supplemental medical insurance adds an extra cushion to your medical coverage or primary insurance policy. In the event of a hospitalization, your primary insurance coverage will kick in first, followed by a supplemental insurance plan or coverage.
Whenever possible, seek additional security for your long term health and wellness, which includes protecting not only your bank account, but also your financial stability now and in the future.