Receiving Help for Costly Medical Expenses

Medicare Parts A and B cover a considerable amount of medical expenses for beneficiaries. Commonly, Medicare covers 80% of medical expenses, while the remaining 20% is the responsibility of the beneficiary.

Medicare Part A covers beneficiaries with inpatient care in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, skilled nursing care, hospice, home health care, and inpatient care in a non-medical facility of religious origin. Medicare premiums are paid out from the beneficiaries working income.

Medicare Part B covers doctors’ services, certain outpatient procedures, and several types of preventive services. With Medicare Part B, deductibles must be met each year before Medicare coverage actually begins.

In certain situations where expenses are high, you may find that even with the coverage from Medicare Parts A and B, 20% can turn into a hefty amount. This is where Medicare Supplemental Insurance can offer assistance. By picking up left over medical expenses, Medicare Supplemental Insurance can significantly cut down high out-of-pocket costs.

There are a number of ways you can benefit from Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans.

• If you are an individual with pre-existing health issues and conditions, you may want to consider getting Medicare Supplemental Insurance to help with your medical fees. There are a number of insurance policies available to offer coverage for left over expenses. These policies are also referred to as Medigap Insurance. The amount of benefit all depends on the type of policy you choose. Some policies offer minor assistance while other policies with comprehensive coverage can have a greater benefit level.

Medigap insurance is offered by a number of health care providers. The premiums for these policies will tend to be higher than the coverage that Medicare itself offers for extended benefits, and most of this coverage will not include benefits for prescription medication. However, a separate prescription plan can be purchased to assist you with prescription drug costs.

• In addition to coverage’s from Part A and Part B, Medicare offers supplemental insurance to help with additional expenses. Since these policies offer extended coverage, it can be a reliable source for covering expenses that would normally be the beneficiaries’ responsibility. Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, is a policy offered by health insurance companies receiving Medicare approval. With Medicare Part C, the beneficiary will receive all of the coverage provided by Parts A and B along with some additional benefits. Under the Part C plan, coverage’s will usually include prescription, dental, vision, hearing and wellness programs. Regarding services, there are different plans available with different rules so it is important to do a little research to find the plan that will best fit your specific needs. There will still be out-of-pocket costs that you are responsible for within the Medicare Part C plan, such as co-payments for doctors’ visits. You may also have to pay a monthly premium in addition to your Part B premium. Due to these issues, further research is recommended before purchasing a Part C plan.

• Individuals who have Medicare insurance are also eligible for Part D coverage. Part D is a plan that primarily covers prescription medication. With the cost of medication today, this can be a very valuable plan to acquire. There are several prescription plans available to help with the cost of prescription drugs. In order to take advantage of this plan, you must already have or be eligible for both Medicare Part A and Part B.

• Another method to receive Medicare Supplemental Insurance is through your or spouse’s current employer. Health care benefits provided through your job can help assist with health costs that your Medicare coverage will not pay. Checking with your employer is a good way to find out what plans may be available such as union health care coverage and COBRA. COBRA is a Federal law that may allow you to retain health coverage through your employer for a temporary period of time if you have been terminated from that position.

• Medicare Supplemental Insurance through other employment plans may also be available. If you are a Federal employee, either current or retired, you may be eligible for a Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. This insurance can also be extended to include members of your family. If you have a Medicare prescription plan, you can still retain the plan provided through your Federal employment.

• Veterans also have insurance benefits available to them. If you have served in the military, you may be eligible for a prescription drug plan to help you with your medication. Prescription coverage may also be available through Medicare. However, if you do qualify you cannot use both types of insurance on one prescription.

• If you are currently serving in the military or are a retiree, you may be able to take advantage of TRICARE, which is health insurance to benefit retirees, active-duty individuals in the military, and their family members.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans are out there to assist you in paying costly medical expenses. You are not alone, so further research each plan and find the right policy that best suits your specific needs. While comparing different options, benefits might seem similar but premiums can vary significantly.