Understanding Supplemental Health Insurance to Medicare

Written By: Alex Hammersley, CPA 

As we journey through life, one thing becomes abundantly clear – health is wealth. However, the complexities of healthcare systems often leave individuals perplexed and uncertain about their coverage. For many retirees in the United States, Medicare serves as a lifeline, providing essential health benefits. But even with Medicare, there are gaps that can leave individuals vulnerable to unexpected expenses. This is where supplemental health insurance steps in, offering peace of mind and additional coverage. In this blog, we’ll delve into the realm of supplemental health insurance to Medicare, revealing its intricacies and exploring its importance.

Understanding Medicare:

Before we dive into supplemental insurance, it’s essential to grasp the basics of Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for people aged 65 and older, though it also covers some younger individuals with disabilities. It consists of four parts:

Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance, covering inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care.

Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance, covering doctor visits, outpatient care, preventive services, and medical supplies.

Medicare Part C: Also known as Medicare Advantage, these plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare and include Part A and Part B coverage, often with additional benefits.

Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage, helping to lower the cost of prescription medications.

Despite its comprehensive coverage, Medicare doesn’t cover all healthcare expenses, leading to potential out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries.

The Role of Supplemental Health Insurance:

Supplemental health insurance, also known as Medigap, is specifically designed to fill the gaps in traditional Medicare coverage.1 These plans are offered by private insurance companies and are standardized by the federal government, meaning that the benefits for each plan are the same, regardless of the insurer.

Here are some key points to understanding supplemental health insurance:

Coverage of Out-of-Pocket Costs: Medigap plans typically cover costs such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that beneficiaries would otherwise be responsible for under traditional Medicare.

Additional Benefits: Depending on the specific plan, supplemental insurance may offer additional benefits not covered by Medicare, such as coverage for emergency medical care during foreign travel.

Choice and Flexibility: With several standardized plans to choose from, individuals can select the Medigap policy that best suits their needs and budget.

Premium Costs: While Medigap plans provide additional coverage, beneficiaries must pay a monthly premium for this insurance in addition to their Medicare Part B premium.

Supplemental health insurance plays a crucial role in enhancing the coverage provided by Medicare, offering peace of mind and financial security to millions of retirees across the United States. By understanding the basics of Medicare, the role of supplemental insurance, and how to choose the right plan, we can navigate the complexities of healthcare with confidence, knowing we have comprehensive coverage to meet the needs of your financial plan.

We Can Help:

Assess Your Needs: Consider your current healthcare needs, anticipated future needs, and budget when evaluating Medigap plans.

Compare Plans: Research and compare the different Medigap plans available in your area, paying close attention to coverage, premiums, and any additional benefits offered.

Review Annually: Healthcare needs and circumstances can change over time, so it’s important to review your Medigap coverage annually during the open enrollment period to ensure it still meets your needs.

1 Medicare Supplement Insurance: What It Is, How It Works, Investopedia.com, accessed May 8, 2024.

Say What?

Mars Inc. and other companies make not-so-sweet change to popular candy bars: ‘Not a decision we have taken lightly’

The article highlights: Thanks to soaring cocoa prices, chocolate candy makers are offering produces with smaller doses of chocolate, or none at all. Companies like Mars are shrinking the size of chocolate bars or creating new products that contain less chocolate. Candymakers are filling candies with caramel, nuts, or fruit, reducing the amount of chocolate coating, and using substitutes for cocoa butter (like palm oil). 

This week in history

1769 – George Washington started his legislative protest of Britain’s policy of “taxation without representation” in response to measures passed by British Parliament that taxed goods imported to the American colonies.  

1873 (150 years ago) – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets, marking the birth of one of the world’s most famous pieces of clothing: blue jeans

1943 (80 years ago) – FDR and Winston Churchill met to set a date for an invasion of Normandy that would become D-Day. It was originally set for May 1, 1944 but actually took place on June 6, 1944. 

1973 (50 years ago) – Televised hearings on Watergate begin. 

1980 (May 18) – Mount St. Helens located in the Cascade Range erupted and blasted 1,300 ft off its top that sent hot mud, gas and ashes running down its slopes. 57 people were killed in the most destructive eruption in modern US history. 

What did it cost? (Dozen Eggs)

1974 – 78 cents

2004 – $1.34 

2024 – $4.12

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