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Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance has helped many residents of the Volunteer State pay for premiums, deductibles and other expenses not directly covered by their original policy. While Medicare offers great basic insurance for many TN residents, a supplemental policy can mean the difference between having to pay steep medical bills out-of-pocket and having enough insurance to cover all the services needed to promote quality of life as you get older. Several companies offer Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance. A little research will reveal which supplemental plan best suits your lifestyle and medical needs.

About Medicare

Medicare is a federal insurance plan designed for seniors ages 65 and older as well as people younger than 65 with certain medical conditions, including permanent kidney failure. The program is made up of three different parts. Part A covers hospice care, skilled nursing facility, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and overnight hospital stays longer than 72 hours but less than 190 lifetime hospital nights. Most Tennessee residents will not need to pay a premium for Part A since it is covered by Medicare taxes paid before retirement.

Part B covers medically necessary visits to doctors' offices, outpatient hospital care, home health services and some preventative care, such as flu shots. Part B requires a monthly premium, and those who do not sign up for Part B as soon as they become eligible may have to pay a penalty. This would apply to people who opted to keep their employer's coverage until they retired. As the age to redeem social security benefits continues to rise, more and more Tennessee residents face the decision of whether or not to enroll in Part B as soon as they turn 65 or to wait until they retire. If you are already paying for your employer's coverage, paying a penalty may be less expensive than paying for twice the coverage.

Part D is used to cover prescription drugs. This plan was added after the first two parts, which combined are often called Original Medicare. As with Part B, you may have to pay a late enrollment fee if you do not sign up for Part D as soon as you are eligible. You must live in the Tennessee service area of the drug program you choose. Although Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance does not cover prescription drugs, these policies can save you money that you can put toward Part D monthly premiums and yearly deductibles.

Choosing a Supplemental Plan

A supplemental insurance program, often called Medigap, helps cover Part B premiums and deductibles, as well as services not included in your regular coverage. In short, supplemental insurance helps you "fill the gaps" in both service and financial coverage, giving you the peace of mind that your medical needs will be taken care of without having to pay steep out-of-pocket costs. Tennessee residents must be enrolled in both Parts A and B to purchase Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance. The federal government has approved 10 Medigap plans, labeled Plan A through Plan N. Plans E, H, I and J are no longer available, but if you purchased one of these plans before they expired, you are allowed to keep it.

Plan A is the most basic Medigap option, covering Part A coinsurance and hospital nights up to 365 days beyond the 190 nights covered by Original Medicare. All Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance companies must sell Plan A. If they choose to sell only two plans, the second must be Plan C or F. These plans are two of the most complete, including Part A and B deductibles, skilled nursing care facility, and emergency care while traveling abroad, among other services.

Medigap for Tennessee Residents

Thirty-seven insurance companies are approved to sell at least one Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance plan. Although all 10 Medigap plans are approved in Tennessee, not all companies offer every plan. Federal law requires that each letter plan be uniform, so the only difference between Plan A at one company versus another is price. Carefully researching each policy before selecting a Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance company will ensure that you choose a firm that offers the plan that is right for you. Signing up during open enrollment, the six month period after you enroll in Part B, will ensure that you can receive supplemental coverage without facing denial or higher premiums because of your lifestyle or a preexisting condition.

Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance has helped many seniors from Nashville, TN to Memphis, TN live fuller lives with the peace of mind that an unexpected medical emergency or existing condition won't cause a personal financial crisis. Getting the preventative care you need with regular doctors' visits and medically necessary tests can help keep you healthy as you age. Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance can make that care affordable.

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