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Medicare Supplement Insurance FAQ's
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 years of age or older and certain people with a disability or end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure). It pays for much of your health care, but not all of it. There are some costs that you will have to pay yourself. These are called out of pocket costs. Costs that you must pay, like coinsurance, co-payments, and deductibles, are called "gaps" in original Medicare plan coverage
What are Part A and Part B of Medicare?
Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps pay for inpatient hospital care, some skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care. Your exposure with Medicare Part A includes a fairly hefty deductible per benefit period and co-pays for days 61+ in the hospital. The part A benefit period covers your stay in the hospital and 60 days after your release. So, you could conceivably have to meet multiple part A deductibles within a calendar year. The co-pays for days 61-90 are $267/day and the co-pays for days 91+ are $512/day. So, as you can see it can get rather expensive if you have multiple hospital stays or extended stays in the hospital.
Part B (Medical Insurance) helps pay for doctors' services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A doesn't cover. Part B helps pay for such covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary. The part B deductible is relatively inexpensive compared to the Part A deductible and is a calendar year deductible. However, once the deductible is met you will be responsible for 20% of your Medicare Part B-related expenses. This can also get rather expensive if you have to undergo major medical treatment.
What is a Medicare Supplement plan?
A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is a health insurance policy sold by private insurance companies. These Medicare supplement plans must follow federal and state laws. These laws protect you. The front of the Medicare Supplement Insurance plan material must clearly identify it as a "Medicare Supplement Insurance" plan.
You might want to consider buying a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan to cover the above described gaps in Original Medicare coverage. Some Medicare Supplement Insurance plans also cover benefits that the Original Medicare Plan doesn't cover, like emergency health care while traveling outside the United States, and preventive services that might not otherwise be covered by Medicare. A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan may help you save on out of pocket costs. If you buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, you will pay a monthly premium to the private Medicare Supplement Insurance company that sells you the policy. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans do not have an annual open enrollment period. This allows you to switch Medicare Supplement Insurance plans at any point throughout the year as long as you qualify medically.
Why do I Need a Medicare supplement or "Medigap" policy?
You may need to supplement Medicare Coverage for one or more of the following reasons: Medicare was never designed to pay all the health care costs of the elderly. Medicare coverage has many gaps. Medicare deductibles increase every year.
How do I get a quote for Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage)?
Simply click here to get an online quote from some of the companies we represent. Or for faster service call us toll free at 1-800-559-9680. We can help you understand how the various plans work and select from many more companies. Only a few of our providers allow us to show their rates on our website.
What is Medicare drug coverage (Part D)?
Starting January 1, 2006, new Medicare Part D drug coverage was available to all Medicare recipients. All Medicare recipients can get this coverage that can help lower drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. Medicare Part D drug coverage is a Medicare program run through private insurance companies.
You choose the drug plan and pay a monthly premium. Like Medicare part B insurance, if you decide not to enroll in a drug plan when you are first eligible, you will pay a penalty if you choose to join later.
If you delay taking and don't take Medicare Part D when you are initially eligible your premium cost will go up at least 1% per month for every month that you wait to join. You will have to pay this penalty as long as you have Medicare drug coverage. If you join by December 31 in any year your coverage will begin January 1 of the next year