Do I Need a Medicare Supplement

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

Do I Need a Medicare Supplement

It’s a question that isn’t said out loud often but one that you can count on as a universal concern for many; “Do I need a Medicare supplement?” In a perfect world, every retiree needs access to all the best medical services that the government can provide, but given the limitations of the current health insurance system, we are far from living in an ideal situation. As a result, this question gets asked in hushed tones and often said as one hopes that basic Medicare will already be sufficient to cover all of one’s health care needs.

Unfortunately, as is always the case, basic Medicare falls egregiously short of meeting the needs of every retiree. This is where the question - Do I need a Medicare supplement - becomes even louder. So how does one choose to answer this question? Is there a guide that one can look to as reference for deciding whether a Medicare supplemental insurance is worth it or not?

Here are a few important notes on that subject.

•The foundation of answering Yes or No to the question “Do I need a Medicare supplement?” is deeply rooted on the idea of need. Everyone has different needs, and so therefore there is no universal answer to that question. You therefore need to evaluate your own situation properly to assess which of your needs can be ably remedied by access to a supplemental Medical plan.

These plans, also known as Medigap, typically cover such things as Part A and B deductibles, coinsurance, blood transfusions commonly not shouldered by Medicare, hospital stays beyond what is stipulated under Part A, coinsurance for hospital and skilled nursing care, a few preventative care benefits, and even foreign travel insurance. Different Medigap plans cover each of these benefits in varying degrees so it is important to compare your needs to each of the plans to see if there is a plan that matches your needs head-on.

•Next, consider the element of cost in determining whether you can say Yes to the question “Do I need a Medicare supplement or not?” The most comprehensive Medigap plans cost up to $220 per month while the most basic are in the range of $90 per month. Is the specific plan that you have in mind accessible to your current budget? It is futile to mortgage your future for a comprehensive plan that covers everything. When the costs become prohibitive, it is probably worthwhile to consider plans that may have a lower coverage but are affordable and sufficient enough to cut across your major areas of need.

•The likelihood of you availing these benefits is also an important indicator towards answering “Do I need a Medicare supplement?” If you will only avail of “certain” benefits once in a few months, you may be better off spending out-of-pocket. Assess the frequency of your requirement thoroughly and use this as a basis for determining whether you should get a supplemental Medicare plan or not.

So it appears there are no shortcuts to answering the question – Do I need a Medicare supplement and neither are there any straight answers. However, if you take the time to study your situation carefully, it shouldn’t take much for you to identify whether you can truly benefit from a supplemental plan or not. See to it that you can do this necessary exercise so you can definitely make the conclusion as to whether or not you should get a supplemental Medicare package.