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Georgia Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Georgia Medicare supplemental insurance, sometimes referred to as Medigap insurance, is a necessity for many Georgia seniors. This is because Medicare on its own does not cover all medical treatments or expenses like long-term hospital stays or portions of outpatient tests and procedures. For treatments that are covered, seniors are left with out-of-pocket expenses they often cannot afford.

Georgia offers many great insurance options to cover these gaps in coverage. Whether you live Atlanta, GA or Savannah, GA, or even a small town in-between, you can find an expert who will be able to advise you on additional coverage for your needs. Since coverage can mean the difference between potentially steep medical bills and peace of mind, it is advisable to plan ahead with some form of supplemental plan even if you still feel healthy. Insurance is, after all, for unexpected situations.

Basics of Medicare

Medicare is a federal program available to people age 65 or older as well as those with certain medical conditions, including anyone with permanent kidney failure, also called End-Stage Renal Disease. The program involves three different parts. Original Medicare starts with Plan A, which covers some, but not all, inpatient hospital stays and some in-home skilled nursing and hospice care. The second part of original coverage is Plan B, which covers doctor visits, outpatient hospital procedures, emergency room visits and some preventative services. Plan D, which covers prescription drugs, was added shortly after Plans A and B.

If you are a resident of Georgia and qualify for Medicare, you'll have to decide whether you need Georgia Medicare supplemental insurance, which is available through competitive private companies. Reading your original plan carefully will help you better understand what your plan will and will not cover. For example, even though Plan A covers inpatient hospital stays, this doesn't necessarily mean that all overnight stays will qualify as being inpatient. Likewise, Plan B covers pneumonia and Flu shots, but not other types of immunizations or vaccinations. Neither plan covers emergency care while in a foreign country.

Benefits of Supplemental Insurance

Federal coverage was never intended to cover all the medical needs of Georgia seniors. Since regular coverage leaves gaps, you need to protect yourself with Georgia Medicare supplemental insurance. When you receive coverage from Plan B, for example, you are reimbursed for 80 percent of what is considered to be the reasonable charge for that service. This "reasonable charge" is determined by Medicare and is often less than the actual service cost, so you would be responsible for more than the remaining 20 percent of the total cost.

This is where Georgia Medicare supplemental insurance comes in. If you have no other coverage plan, you will end up paying the discrepancy out-of-pocket. Plan A and Plan B also do not cover long-term home care or any emergency medical needs you might have while traveling abroad. Adding Georgia Medicare supplemental insurance to your regular plan will ensure that no unexpected health needs leave you dipping into your retirement fund, or worse yet, unable to pay for medical services you really need.

When to Get Supplemental Coverage

You need to have enrolled in Plan A and Plan B before you can sign up for supplemental coverage. If you are still covered by a company plan, you might decide to delay Plan B coverage until you retire to avoid paying the monthly premium, but it's wise to get Plan A coverage as soon as you turn 65 because it can help pay hospital bills not otherwise covered by your regular plan. No matter when you decide to enroll in regular federal coverage, it is best to get Georgia Medicare supplemental insurance within six months of signing up for original coverage. During this "Open Enrollment" period, you can secure supplemental coverage without needing a medical exam.

Getting Insurance in Georgia

Georgia seniors have many options for choosing supplemental medical coverage. The process can be confusing with 10 separate standardized plans, labeled A through N with some exceptions, but there is no reason to sort through the details of each alone. Georgia Medicare supplemental insurance companies can offer expert advice and council for people with medical and financial concerns. Some companies can offer better rates in some states than others, or even some cities like Augusta, GA, so going with a local firm is advisable.

Georgia medicare supplemental insurance can be a great option for seniors who want the peace of mind that their medical needs are met, in both the immediate and long-term future. Although you should always research your choices and evaluate your situation to avoid paying for more insurance than you need, most people will find that gaps in their coverage require Georgia medicare supplemental insurance.

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