The Medicare program provides health care insurance for Americans and shields them from costly expenses brought about by the rising health care costs. A Supplement Insurance or Medigap plans further complement the benefits provided by the program. These plans cover for those gaps not covered by the Original Medicare Plan, and it’s a great idea to check the AARP Medigap Rates.
The Medicare Program
The Federal Government has been running a health insurance program for American dubbed as the Medicare Program. The program, administered by the Social Security and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has been running since 1996 and has been providing healthcare insurance to certain sectors of American society such as those who are aged 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and persons with End-Stage Renal Disease, or permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant.
Eligibility for the coverage under the Program
People who are turning 65 years old will have to sign-up under the Medicare Program, as well as those who have End-Stage Renal Disease. The said persons may contact the Social Security for enrollment under the Medicare program.
However, there are certain groups of people who can automatically get coverage under the Medicare program. Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) beneficiaries automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B coverage on the first day of the month they turn 65 years old. Disabled persons under the age of 65 will also spontaneously get their Medicare coverage after receiving disability benefits from Social Security or RRB for 24 months. Lastly, Medicare coverage for those afflicted with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, will start as soon as they start receiving their Social Security benefits.
For those who need to sign up for Medicare program, it is important that they do so the moment they are already eligible for it. Delays in signing up may also result in delayed Medicare coverage and recurring payment for late enrollment penalty.
It is important to note that there is a premium to be paid in availing of Medicare Part B coverage.
Benefits under the Medicare Program
A person enrolled in the program will have insurance coverage for certain health care services. Medicare coverage is divided into four parts, namely Parts A, B, C, and D. When a person first signs up under the program, he is eligible for Parts A and B, which form part of the Original Medicare. Meanwhile, those who also want to have Parts C and D coverage will have to get those from a private health insurance provider who is also accredited by Medicare.
Medicare Part A helps cover the expenses incurred for hospital services. The services covered include inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and others. Part B, on the other hand, covers medical insurance that includes certain services of medical professionals, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive health services.
Also called for Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare Part C is an alternative health insurance plan that may be availed from the private insurance company who contracts with Medicare. These plans offer extra coverage such as vision, dental, hearing, and other health and wellness programs, aside from covering Medicare Part A and Part B. A person may have to pay a premium in availing Medicare Advantage Plan, in addition to the premium paid for Medicare Part B.
Prescription Drug Coverage, for the last part, is covered under Medicare Part D. While it is not provided under the Original Medicare, it is still an important component of the program as it helps cover for the cost of medicines and protects the covered individual from the higher cost of prescription drugs in the future.
Medicare Part D is also available from private insurance providers.
AARP Medigap Rates
Now, there is a limit to the number of expenses covered by the Original Medicare. These are the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the covered individual. To get their way around these out-of-pocket costs, some individuals opted to avail of Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan or Medigap.
One of these Supplemental Insurance Plan is the AARP Medigap Plan.
AARP stands for American Association of Retired Persons and is a social welfare organization which assists the elderly through health care, employment, income, and financial security. One must be an AARP member to avail of its Medigap plan, as well as other Medicare plans.
AARP traces its roots from the National Retired Teachers’ Association which was established in 1947 with the aim of promoting productive aging and responding to the needs of retired teachers regarding health insurance, at a time when private health insurance was inaccessible to older Americans.
The AARP Medigap Plan is insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company which has over 30 years’ experience of providing health care insurance. Through this plans, AARP ensures that their members are covered under a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan according to what they need and what they can afford.
Just like the other plans of the same type, AARP Medigap plans are recognized by doctors and hospitals accredited by the Medicare program.
It also offers the same standardized benefits package. Members who are availing of the AARP Medigap plans can choose from a variety of Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan offered by the organization and insured by UnitedHealthcare. Depending on the benefits package provided by the chose Medigap plan, an insured member can get coverage for the following: Part A coinsurance and hospital costs; Part B coinsurance or copayment; first 3 pints of blood; Part A hospice case coinsurance or copayment; skilled nursing facility care coinsurance; Part A deductible; Part B deductible; and foreign travel medical emergencies.
However, those who already have Medicare Advantage Plan do not have to avail of a Medigap plan since they cannot use the Medigap to pay for any healthcare expenses even if it is a copayment, deductible, or premium. Some Medigap policies already included prescription drug coverage and if it is the case, there is no need to avail of a separate Medicare Part D plan.
To view AARP Medigap rates click the button below!