Do I Need Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

Some people say Medicare Supplemental Insurance is a waste of money. Other people say you need a supplement plan. Here is what you need to know.

Medicare is Not Complete Health Care

If you’re approaching retirement, you’re probably looking forward to your Medicare coverage.  However, something that you may be shocked to discover is that Medicare isn’t free. A surprising number of people are unaware that they need to save for their Part B premiums. Yet, failing to save means money can be very tight.

If you were thinking of simply going with Original Medicare without Medicare Supplemental Insurance, though, that’s not a wise idea. For example, some Medicare plans don’t cover hearing aids.

Here, we take a closer look at how this type of insurance could help you during your retirement.

Although Medicare coverage is useful, it has many substantial gaps. You’ll need to pay for costly deductibles and a fifth of all outpatient coverage if you rely solely on Medicare. The total could add up to a substantial sum of money without supplemental insurance to cover the extra.

So, is it worth taking out that extra coverage? Here, we take a closer look so you can make an informed decision.

The Gaps in Medicare Cover

Just like regular insurance, Medicare comes with copays, coinsurance, and deductibles that you’re responsible for. Even worse, there aren’t any caps on the amount of those costs. That means you’ll pay 20 percent of your emergency room and doctor visits, tests, surgeries, and medical equipment forever.

You can easily see how the costs could mount up over time. How can you minimize the financial impact? 

Medicare Supplement Plans Can Help

The design of Medicare Supplemental Insurance helps to plug any gaps in medical coverage that Medicare leaves behind. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that, if you become ill, you won’t damage your credit because of unpaid bills.

A supplemental plan will take care of your copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Could I Benefit from Medicare Supplemental Coverage?

Many retirees could benefit from taking out supplemental coverage for Medicare, especially if any of these situations are applicable: 

  • You regularly travel outside the United States and need health insurance to protect you should you require emergency medical treatment overseas. Some supplemental plans provide coverage for foreign travel and pay up to 80 percent of your covered costs.
  • You’re likely to need several hospital stays in a single year.
  • You’re likely to need several visits to your doctor or numerous medical services in a year.

While you pay premiums for your supplemental insurance plan, it will cover most of your out-of-pocket expenses. A sensible course of action is to work out how much you’d likely need to pay under Original Medicare out of pocket. If that figure is higher than the cost of a Medicare Supplement premium, an insurance plan could help you save.

Am I Eligible for a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan?

Not everyone is eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance. Anyone can make an application for this type of plan at any time. Still, there is no guarantee that everybody will be able to buy one. The best time to make your application is during the OEP (Open Enrollment Period). The OEP is a six-month period that starts when you’re 65 and have an enrollment in Medicare Part B.

During this period, you will have guaranteed acceptance. You won’t receive any additional charges even if you have a health problem. However, there may be a waiting period to see if it will cover any pre-existing condition. Once the waiting period is over, you’re likely to face medical underwriting, which could make your premiums higher. The insurance company could even deny you if you’re suffering from a pre-existing condition. Remember, you also must enroll in both Medicare Parts A and B to qualify for Medicare Supplemental Insurance.

Schedule a Free Consultation to Learn More

Preferred Insurance of California is an independent health insurance broker that specializes in Medicare and group health insurance in southern California.  

If you have questions about Medicare supplemental insurance plans we can help.  Call to speak with a Preferred Insurance California licensed health insurance broker.

Call (760) 385-8239

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