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Best Medicare Supplement Insurance

The best Medicare supplement insurance for seniors who want aren't sure what their plans are for retirement, or those who simply want to keep their options open, is one that offers full coverage at an affordable rate. While a solid plan for the future is certainly beneficial in determining the kind of health care you'll need, the truth is that most seniors must remain flexible in retirement as their budgets change, families move and markets make savings unpredictable. The only real certainty is that nearly everyone needs a supplement policy since Medicare cannot cover 100 percent of costs related to health care. A Medicare supplement plan can help you cover medical expenses no matter what your plans are or how often they change.

Supplement Insurance Explained

When seniors reach the age of 65, they often rely on the government-funded Medicare program for health insurance. Medicare can cover 80 percent of an approved cost for services that it offers, leaving a 20 percent coinsurance fee that Medicare recipients must pay out-of-pocket if they have no other form of insurance. The best way to cover coinsurance fees is typically with a form of supplement insurance, also called Medigap. Supplement policies are an affordable way to cover everything from coinsurance and deductibles to services not covered by original Medicare, such as foreign travel emergency insurance or excess charges that can result when the total cost of a service exceeds the Medicare-approved amount. When determining the best Medicare supplement insurance plan for you, looking at which of these services your policy offers can help you decide.

Your original Medicare plan consists of two parts. Part A covers your long-term care, including inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility and hospice care. Part B covers general care, including doctor's visits, emergency room care and preventative services. You must enroll in both parts to purchase a Medigap policy. The best time to purchase Medigap is within six months of enrolling in your original policy. The best Medicare supplement insurance can depend on many factors, but to enjoy the best rates with fewest restrictions, timing is very important. This six months immediately following your purchase of Parts A and B is called Open Enrollment. During this time you can buy the best policy for you without having to take a physical or subscribe to medical underwriting. Your provider cannot deny you a plan, nor can they charge you higher rates because of a preexisting condition.

Choosing the Best Policy

The best Medicare supplement insurance policy for you will depend on the size of your nest egg, your retirement plans, your health status and even factors you might not have considered, like your zip code, your age or your gender. For seniors who don't want to commit to a certain lifestyle, the best Medicare supplement insurance should offer coverage for the unexpected. If you decide next week that you'd like to travel to Europe, you'll be glad you had foreign travel emergency coverage. If you have saved well for retirement, you can get away with a lower monthly premium and less coverage, as long as you are comfortable with facing high out-of-pocket medical bills in the face of an emergency. If you were unable to save as much as you would have liked, you will find that a policy with slightly higher monthly premiums than you might like but with significantly more coverage will be the best Medicare supplement insurance for you. A premium will pale in comparison to coinsurance or excess charges.

Medigap plans are available in 10 different versions, the most comprehensive of which is called Plan F. This policy covers your excess charges, deductibles, excess charges and foreign travel emergencies. Although this plan often has the highest average monthly premium, many people consider it the best Medicare supplement insurance policy for them simply because of the many benefits offered. Another popular option for people who want the best coverage with a low monthly rate are the high-deductible Medigap plans, including a high-deductible version of Plan F, along with Plans K and L. These plans offer the best Medicare supplement insurance for people who have the savings to weather an initial annual deductible, between $2,000 and $4,640 depending on the plan, but want to keep their premium low.

No matter what your plans are during retirement, or whether you plan to have no plans in your golden years, a supplement insurance policy can give you the peace of mind that your medical expenses will be covered without interfering with your nest egg. Doing some research online to learn more about the policies available and Medigap providers in your area can help you determine the best Medicare supplement insurance plan for you, based on your current health, your family history and other important factors.

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