Do I Need a Medicare Supplement
Medigap is the common term for Medicare Supplement insurance. Medigap is extra insurance that beneficiaries can purchase from private insurance carriers. The purpose of Medigap is to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses that can accrue in Original Medicare coverage. Therefore, enrollees must be enrolled in Original Medicare in order to purchase a Medigap policy.
Medigap policies are standardized. This means that, unlike Medicare Advantage and other policies, all Medigap policies offer the same basic benefits regardless of carrier or location. There are ten different types of Medigap policy and they are lettered: there are plans A through D, F, G, and K through N. This is how companies distinguish which benefits and prices a plan has. Price is the only difference between plans from different insurance carriers with the same letter. However, in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, standardizes Medigap policies differently. All other states use the alphabet system.
Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement
There are many healthcare services that Original Medicare does not cover because it is not a blanket insurance policy. An example of where Medigap policies can be helpful is with copays and deductibles. Let’s say a beneficiary becomes ill enough that they need a say in the hospital. With Original Medicare, that hospital stay (bed and board) is 100% covered. Keep in mind the Part A deductible applies. However, the beneficiary may still owe up to 20% of other costs. An example is anesthesiologist fees. Those bills can be significant. Medigap policies can help with that coverage.
Do I Example
Here is an example. If a beneficiary is in the hospital for 60 days, they will be paying $400 a day, and there are similar copayments for nursing homes and other facilities. Those numbers can quickly add up to prohibitive costs, particularly for seniors on a fixed income or who are struggling with their health in their increasing age.
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