Do I Need Supplement Insurance with Medicare

If you’re older or disabled, you may have health insurance through Medicare & are wondering “do I need Supplement insurance with Medicare?” Supplement plans are also known as Medigap plans. These plans were created because Medicare A and B have significant coverage gaps that can cost you a lot of money. If you’re thinking “do I need a Medigap plan” the answer is probably yes. Even if you think you have enough to cover an emergency, you may be surprised how fast the cash flies out when the bills start coming in.

Do I Need Supplement Insurance with Medicaresupplement insurance with medicare

Medicare A is sometimes referred to as hospital coverage or inpatient coverage. It deals with hospital care, inpatient medical rehabilitation, home health care and hospice. These benefits are worth a lot, but they are no means complete.

For instance, if you have to be hospitalized, you’ll have to pay a co-pay if your stay is longer than 60 days. If you need physical therapy, occupational or speech therapy, your Medicare will cover the first 20 days. After that you’ll have to pay a co-pay. The co-pay costs over $100 per day, and though that may not seem like much, it can quickly add up.

Theses charges can be quite hefty if you contract a serious illness or are involved in a tragic accident. People who have neglected to select a Medicare Supplement plan have found themselves in thousands of dollars of medical debt.

Medicare Part A charges are substantial, but Medicare Part B also has costs that can add up. Part B is sometimes called doctors insurance or outpatient insurance. It pays a portion of your visits to outpatient physicians like your primary care doctor or a specialist. It also covers the partial cost of medical equipment.

These expenses may be lower than the expenses incurred under Medicare A, but suppose that you need an expensive piece of equipment at home such as a wheelchair, oxygen at home, or a hospital bed. Even if Medicare picks up a large proportion of those costs, the money you would still owe could make the item cost-prohibitive. This means you may not get to have the equipment the doctor feels you need. You might also end up with a secondhand piece of equipment that’s not specifically tailored to suit your needs.

What About Prescription Drug Coverage

Any Medigap policies sold after January 1st, 2006 don’t include prescription drug coverage. If you have an olderpolicy make sure to read the plan’s “Notice of Creditable Coverage” to make sure you still have prescription coverage. 

If you have a Medigap policy, along with Original Medicare, and need prescription drug coverage you have a few options.

  1. Join a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
  2. Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Drug plan, you must dis-enroll from your Medigap plan to get this
  3. Remember, prescription drug coverage is optional. You can choose to go without it but you might be charged a late enrollment fee if you decide to add it later.  

Keep in mind that you can only join a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan during the fall Open Enrollment Period. 

Get Help with Medicare Supplement Plans Today!

Some people, understandably, need help with Medicare Supplement plans. It may surprise you to learn that there are 10 Medigap options, running from low premiums to high premiums. Of course, the lower premium plans don’t fill in as many of the gaps.

Making effective healthcare choices can be difficult. Make sure to give yourself enough time to think and talk things through with members of your household whose healthcare will also be be affected.

And remember, if you find you don’t like the plans you’ve selected this year, you can always change plans during OEP. Open Enrollment comes at the end of the year and gives people the option of making changes to their coverage.

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