One of the many things we worry about is how we will cover our health care expenses when we age. Doctors’ bills, hospital stays, and medical supplies add up quickly and we don’t want to be blinded by the costs of these necessary services. In this day and age, having health insurance is a must to cover unforeseen health expenses. There are a couple of different insurance options available to seniors and here’s how to choose what’s best for you.
Medicare and Medicaid are often confused because they are both programs that are run by the government, but they provide services to different groups of people. Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage for anyone over 65-years-old, under 65 with a disability, or individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease. You’re eligible for medicare no matter your income. Medicaid differs from Medicare as it’s only for those with low incomes and it’s a state and federal program. Individuals can be eligible for both services.
Policies Within Medicare
Within Medicare, there are different policies you can choose between. The plans are offered by insurance companies and private companies approved by Medicare. There are 10 Medicare Supplement Plans, but these are the most common. Here’s a brief overview of the different Supplement Plants.
- Medicare Plan A: Relates to hospital insurance and it covers inpatient hospital stays, stays in skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some health care.
- Medicare Plan B : This covers medical insurance for doctor’s services, outpatient care, and preventative medical supplies.
- Medicare Plan D: Covers prescription drug coverage.
- Medicare Plan C: Also known as Medicare Advantage, is an all-inclusive plan as it covers Plan A, B, and D.
- Medicare Plan F: This is the most comprehensive plan as it covers some of the costs that Medicare doesn’t like copays, coinsurance, deductibles, medical services when you travel abroad, and everything covered in Plan A and B.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicap refers to plans C, F, G, K, L, M, and N and they’re sold by private companies and you must have Medicare Plan A and Plan B to be eligible for them. However, if you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin the Medigap policies are different.
Beginning January 1, 2020, as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Congress will be making some significant changes in relation to Medigap plans. You may be wondering why, and it’s because Congress wants to make sure doctors who accept Medicare patients are paid fairly. In order for doctors to continue accepting Medicare patients, these changes are crucial.
With the new year fast approaching, it’s important for seniors to start looking into their options. The good news is, if you already have Plans C or F before January 1, 2020, you can still use your plan. For new customers, Medigap plans won’t include the Part B deductible and Plans C and F won’t be available. However, In addition, if you were eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020, there’s a chance you can buy one of these plans.
What Other Plans are Available?
As we mentioned before, there are 10 Supplement Plans and there are plans that are similar to Plans C and F. If you’re looking for the plan that’s most comparable to Plans C and F, Plan G is your best bet, as it has the same benefits as Plan F besides for the Plan B deductible.