Best Medicare Supplement
2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
Choosing the Best Medicare Supplement Plan
Aging is one of the natural processes that every individual will have to go through. As one ages and nears retirement, they often have to think of how to cater for any medical emergencies that may result as the body’s activity slows down. In most cases people would rely on the main health insurance program currently in place around the country, Medicare. However, there are circumstances whereby Medicare does not cover some medical expenses. In fact Medicare only covers an average of around 80% of health care bills. Examples of services not covered by Medicare include long term care, homemaker services, as well as most dental and denture services. As these are medically necessary services, private companies offer these services through a combination of plans, each called a Medicare supplement plan, or Medigap. Here are some facts concerning how to choose the best medicare supplement.
Since a Medigap plan acts as a Medicare supplement plan, it is important that all medicare recipients are familiar with the facts concerning them. Though these services are offered by different private insurance companies, the overall plan has to conform to the set standard as regulated by Medicare. However, the premiums set on the different plans vary from one insurer to the next. Thus, one needs to carry out thorough research so as to find the best Medicare supplement plan at the best price.
There are currently 12 different Medicare supplement plans in place across the different States. However, not all States have all 12 plans. Each Medicare supplement plan is labeled with a letter from the alphabet and each has its own individual benefits. Generally, plan A has the least benefits, but is also the least expensive plan. Plan J has the most benefits, but is also the most expensive plan of all. In order to find the best Medicare supplement plan to cover one’s medical need, one needs to understand how premiums are set on these plans.
There are three different methods used to set premiums on a Medicare supplement plan. These are attained age, community-rated and age issued. Each individual has to choose which medicare supplement is best for their particular needs. When researching, it will soon become evident that each has its own individual benefits. For instance, with the attained age method, any person over the age of 65 is eligible for this policy. However, the premiums associated with this policy tend to increase every three to five years. With the community-rated and issue age policy, the premiums set do not vary with one’s increasing age. The core difference between the two is that with the issue-age policy, one’s premiums are based at the age at which the policy is acquired. On the other hand, the community-rated policy premiums are constant regardless of age.
When selecting the best Medicare supplement plan, one has to remember a few things. First, the best medicare supplement plan is not always the one with higher premiums. Standardized Medicare plans are exactly the same from one insurance company to the next. Moreover, the benefits and the filing claims are exactly identical from one insurer to the next.
Second, premiums are influenced by a number of factors. As seen above, premiums tend to be influenced by age. Moreover, even ageless premiums are subject to inflation reviews. Every year Medicare reviews its plans accordingly with the prevailing inflation. Thus, the best Medicare supplement plan is that which takes the inflation factor into consideration.
Last, as all Medicare supplement and standardized plans are reviewed yearly, one needs to review their own plan in terms of costs and coverage so as to ensure that they are on the best Medicare supplement plan. Most experts advise that this be done each September.
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