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Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance

Medicare supplemental health insurance plays a crucial role in the ability of many people on Medicare to pay for their full medical costs, be it hospital bills, doctor's visits or extended treatments for a prolonged condition. Most people on Medicare need some sort of supplemental coverage to pay for expenses that would otherwise be out-of-pocket. These services can include hospice care, long-term hospital stays, deductibles and copays. With medicare supplemental health insurance, seniors age 65 and older and others who qualify for Medicare can confidently seek the health care they need without fear that they won't be able to pay for it. A number of Medicare supplemental health insurance plans, also called Medigap or MedSup policies, are available so you can be sure you choose a supplemental plan that fits your unique needs.

Your Insurance Options

Before you can make an informed decision about Medicare supplemental health insurance, it helps to understand how the original program works. Founded in 1965, Medicare is a federal plan designed to give United States residents who are no longer working, either because they've retired or because of a disability, a basic form of health insurance. This original plan consists of two parts. Part A covers hospice care, inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility and some types of home health care. Part B covers outpatient hospital stays, general doctors' visits, home health services and other medically necessary care. A third component for prescription drugs called Part D was added later. Medicare covers 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount. Medical providers are legally allowed to charge up to 15 percent more than the approved cost for Part B services, which can leave more than 20 percent of the total fee uncovered by insurance. Without Medicare supplemental health insurance these remaining costs must be paid out-of-pocket.

This is where Medigap can help. Imagine you fall unexpectedly while gardening or doing lawn work and suffer a fracture to your arm. Your Part B insurance covers 80 percent of the Medicare approved cost of the emergency room visit, the ambulance to the hospital if needed, your X-ray and some home care services or rehabilitation if deemed medically necessary. Depending on how much your medical provider charges, you would face at least 20 percent of this medical bill if you don't have a supplemental plan. Medicare supplemental health insurance covers your coinsurance, any blood that might have been drawn, and depending on your plan, the excess charges as well.

Types of Supplemental Insurance

You have 10 Medicare supplemental health insurance plans to choose from. These plans, labeled A through N, are standardized by the federal government, so in most states each plan will be the same no matter what company you choose. Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Minnesota have developed unique policies, so if you live in these states you may have fewer Medigap options. No matter where you live, it is advisable to research companies online since different firms can charge radically different rates for identical plans. Prices for the same supplemental plan can even vary within the same company across different counties, so researching your local options is a good idea to find the best value.

The most basic Medigap policy available is Plan A, which covers Part A and B coinsurance, 365 extra hospital nights, and the first three pints of blood you need drawn in a year. More comprehensive plans like Plan F offer all those services in addition to deductible coverage, excess charge coverage, skilled nursing facility and foreign travel coverage. So even if you had suffered a fracture to your arm with the most basic Medigap plan, you still would have enjoyed a great deal more coverage and far less financial worry than with your original plan alone.

Choosing an Insurance Company

The right Medicare supplemental health insurance company for you can depend on many factors, including your income, lifestyle and risk of developing genetic conditions. A local company is likely to give you the best rates as well as personal attention that could help you pick the the supplemental health policy that best suits your needs. Online research can help you compare local companies so you can choose the plan with the best rates and the best customer service.

Your health is important to you, and so is your financial well being. Since you don't want to spend your retirement worried about either, Medicare supplemental health insurance gives you the freedom to enjoy all your favorite activities, whether it's sailing in Maine or gardening in Idaho, without the worry of what an accident or medical emergency could do to your savings. Researching Medigap companies online can ensure that you'll be well informed of your local options to help you choose the right company for you.


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Boise ID

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Finding affordable Medicare supplement coverage was very easy with the help of this site. Thank you very much for the service. Medicare Supplemental Insurance Testimonial