Supplemental Healthcare Plans
2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
Supplemental Healthcare Plans
As one approaches retirement, they have to tackle a number of financial issues. These include medical services and the different ways of ensuring that they have the right medical coverage for services they may need. Medicare will provide cover for most of the essential services. However, one may need to sign up for supplemental healthcare plans to cater for the out-of-pocket expenses which are not covered under the original Medicare program.
Medicare supplemental healthcare plans were designed to fill in the gaps left behind by Medicare. As you may probably know, long term hospital care i.e. that which exceeds 100 days is not covered under the original Medicare. There are also a number of other medical expenses Medicare does not cover. In fact, the retiree is usually responsible for paying around 20% of their medical bills. Catering for these services from your own pocket may prove to be too costly. As such, one may find one of the approved supplemental healthcare plans useful for your case.
One can enroll for their supplemental plan when they enroll for Medicare parts A and B. It should be noted that you have to be enrolled in both parts to be eligible for any supplemental plan. As one usually qualifies for Medicare when they reach 65, the period for enrolling for a Medicare supplemental healthcare plan ranges from three months before they turn 65 to three months after they turn 65.
If you choose to enroll for your Medicare supplemental healthcare plan after this time period, the insurance company you are dealing with may require a physical and/or deny coverage. Moreover, if they approve your plan, they may charge higher premiums owing to the underwriting charges.
Medicare itself will not cater to the costs associated with the supplemental healthcare plan that you have selected. Any additional costs that may not be covered by both Medicare and your supplemental plan will have to be paid from your pocket. Therefore, be sure to make your choice carefully as to which plans you should take. If you choose carefully you supplement healthcare plan will probably cover almost all the expenses that Medicare doesn’t.
There are quite a number of supplemental healthcare plans available. Plans are identified by letters of the alphabet and are rated based on their premiums and the benefits that you get should you choose to enroll. While it is known that Plans F and C offer the best in terms of coverage, other plans offer great coverage while allowing for modest out-of-pocket expenses which can be factored into your budget.
Premiums of the different supplemental healthcare plans are known to vary from company to company. While you may find the same plan offering the same benefits regardless of which company you go to, the premiums will vary. There are two main ways through which insurance companies place premiums on their supplemental plans: issued age policy and the attained policy.
As the name suggests, premiums based on the issued age policy are determined based on the present age of the individual at the time when they enroll for the said plan. On the other hand, with the attained age policy, premiums are determined when the individual reaches the required age to receive Medicare. As such, premiums based on the attained age policy tend to be higher than those of plans based on the issued age policy. However, premiums in both cases are known to rise as one ages.
Our website has a huge number of articles on Medicare and supplement healthcare plans such as Medigap, which is low cost and government regulated.