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Supplemental Medicare Health Insurance

Supplemental Medicare health insurance is a resource available to seniors of all financial backgrounds to help pay for medical expenses. Original Medicare can only cover 80 percent of an approved amount for services that it offers, leaving a significant portion of costs left uncovered. Supplemental Medicare health insurance rates is a cost-effective way to cover all expenses related to your care without having to pay coinsurance and other fees out of your own pocket. Supplemental insurance, also called Medigap, does not replace your original plan like a Medicare Advantage plan, nor does it operate within a separate network. This means that any medical provider accepting Medicare must also accept your Medigap coverage, and you do not need a referral to see specialists.

Choosing a Supplemental Plan

When it comes to your health, you want to make sure you choose the right supplemental policy for both your finances and your health. Supplemental Medicare health insurance is available through 10 standardized plans. The right plan for you can depend on a number of factors, including your income, preexisting conditions and family history. The plan with the least expensive monthly premium is Plan A. This policy covers your 20 percent coinsurance and the first three pints of blood you need in a year before Medicare takes over. All supplemental Medicare health insurance companies must offer Plan A. If you are cost conscious, it might seem like this is the best option for you. However, with Plan A all deductibles and other fees are still your responsibility.

Medigap plans become more comprehensive as the letters increase. Plans E, H, I and J are no longer available to purchase, but those who enrolled in these plans before June 2010 can keep them. The most comprehensive supplemental health insurance policy is Plan F. This policy covers all your deductibles, excess charges, hospice care and foreign travel emergency insurance. Plan F has one of the highest average monthly premiums, but the wide ranging coverage makes it one of the most popular plans across all demographics. If you have a small nest egg or want to avoid risk in the case of a medical emergency, Plan F is often the best option. Plans G and C are also comprehensive plans and good options for people looking for low-risk policies.

If you are in good health and want full coverage with a low monthly premium, there are three high deductible plans to choose from, including Plans K, L and a high-deductible version of Plan F. Plan F, for example, offers all the coverage of the regular Plan F after you pay a $2,000 annual deductible. A relatively new form of supplemental Medicare Health insurance, available since 2010, is cost-sharing, represented by Plans M and N. These plans cover 100 percent of your coinsurance after a copayment. Plan N, for example, has a doctors' office copayment of $20 and an emergency room copayment of $50. Only by researching each plan thoroughly can you determine the right one for you.

Choosing a Supplemental Insurance Company

Choosing a supplemental Medicare health insurance company can be difficult, but researching companies online can make it easier to determine your full range of options. There are several factors to consider when choosing a supplemental insurance provider. One of the biggest factors is the monthly rate you will pay. Since all Medigap plans are standardized, the benefits of each lettered plan are uniform no matter what the price. The monthly rate you pay can depend on many factors, including the company's age-rate policy, how soon you enroll in your plan after purchasing Medicare, and even your zip code. Rates can also depend on how big the supplemental Medicare health insurance company is, and what their reputation is.

One of the most important factors to consider in choosing a company to supplement your Medicare policy is the age-rate policy. This can have a big impact on your rate. Under the community-rated plan, everyone under a particular policy pays the same rate. So even as you get older, you will keep your rate, adjusted for inflation. Under the issue-age-rated plan, initial rate is based on your age, but you keep that rate as long as you keep your plan. The attained-age option bases your rate on your age, so your premium goes up slightly along with inflation.

When looking for supplemental Medicare health insurance, it is important to consider both your plan and the company. Researching local health insurance providers online can help you determine your full range of options so you can find the policy that fits all your health needs as well as your budget. Supplemental Medicare health insurance can help you gain peace of mind that all your expenses will be covered no matter that emergencies or conditions you might face.

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