Every senior who does not already have a Medicare Supplement plan should be asking themselves if such a plan could benefit them. Choosing a Medicare Supplemental plan in 2019 could be lifechanging, in that it could save you hundreds of dollars each year and make you more likely to go to the hospital or doctor’s office for the medical care that you need.
If you don’t have the appropriate medical coverage, you may be more likely to stay at home or tough out the symptoms of a medical problem rather than seeking out treatment. That can be incredibly dangerous, and that’s why we recommend that every senior consider the benefits of a Medicare Supplement plan. Not everyone needs one of these, of course, but for those who can benefit from what these plans offer, the savings and value can be tremendous.
We are going to spend some time looking at Medicare Supplements and how they may benefit you. Then you can decide for yourself if one of these plans might be the right choice for your medical coverage.
The benefits of an insurance plan are the items or expenses that it covers for you. For Medicare Supplements, that coverage includes a long list of potential expenses. There are ten total Medicare Supplement plans, and the coverage on each of them is a bit different. Some of them cover lots of supplemental expenses and some cover only a few. Some of them just cover most of the expenses for 50% or 75%. You can find one that fits you well if you just look through what is available. If you can’t find a decent plan that fits your needs, then you probably need to look into some other options, but we recommend every senior take some time to look at what kind of Supplemental plans are available.
The benefits include coverage for all sorts of common expenses that Original Medicare leaves for you to pay. You could be covered for your annual deductible for Medicare Part A, as well as the one for Part B. You could be covered for the copayment you have to make with each visit to the doctor’s office or the hospital. That’s a common expense that often isn’t very costly but that can quickly add up with each sequential visit. Its important to have the more common expenses covered by a Supplement plan rather than to focus on ones that you may just need to pay once or twice a year. This is why far more Medicare Supplements cover the Medicare Part B copayment than the Part B deducible. The copayment is a regular expense, and the deductible is an annual one.
Supplement benefits extend to other uncommon expenses, such as the Medicare Part B excess charges. This is something that’s usually only required when you visit a medical facility that doesn’t fully accept Medicare. That’s fairly rare, which is why it is only covered by a couple of the Medicare Supplement plans.
Foreign medical emergency transport is another kind of rare expense, but in this case, most of the Supplement plans will cover it. This is something you would have to deal with if you are transported for emergency medical treatment outside the United States. That can happen even if you live in the US, as the closest medical facility to treat you may be on the other side of the border, in some cases.
Some other common expenses are covered as well by Supplement benefits. These include coinsurance for hospice care and skilled nursing services as well as for blood usage. Once again, not all the Supplement plans cover all these expenses, so you will need to pick out what you want to have covered and then find a plan that can cover them for you.
Picking the Right Plan
It is important that you choose the plan that will fit you best. While people may make recommendations to you and tell you which plan they think you should be picking, it’s up to you to make the right choice for your financial and coverage needs. Only you know what you need and only you can make that decision that will benefit you most.
You want to be careful about choosing a plan just because it is popular, or someone recommended it you because it worked for them. You have to examine your own needs and your own finances when choosing a Medicare supplemental plan for 2019 you need to go with.
If you aren’t sure which plan will be a good fit for you, then you need to assess where you are medically and financially. Look at what you are paying for out of pocket for medical care and what you feel like you need to have covered. Look at those expenses that you pay commonly or that cost you a lot of money. Those are the ones to focus on, as they are what need to be covered the most.
Once you assess your own needs, then you should have a good idea of whether you need a low coverage plan or a high coverage one. That way, you won’t have to bother looking in detail at all the Supplement plans. We suggest just focusing on a few plans and paying careful attention to how they cover you. Plan F is a good place to start, if you think you need a lot of coverage. You should compare that full coverage plan that includes all the cover we already listed to similar plans, such as Plan G and Plan N.
Plan G covers also everything in the supplemental coverage section above. The only thing that it won’t cover you for is the Medicare Part B deductible, which you only pay once per year anyway and which costs $183.
Plan N is very similar, and it similarly does not include the Part B deductible. It also won’t cover you for the Part B excess charges and for some copayments every now and then. That’s not much of a cover difference between these two plans and Plan F, but the price difference can be considerable. That’s something you will want to take into consideration as you compare the plans that and try to find the most suitable one for you and your needs.
Choosing the right Medicare Supplemental Insurance
If you are interested in one of the Medicare Supplements, then you can apply as soon as you turn 65 years sold. That’s the minimum age limit for people who want to apply, but exceptions will be made for those who have end stage renal disease or who have been diagnosed with some sort of disability. If you would like to know if you qualify before you go through the application process, you can always talk to an insurance agent or specifically a Medicare agent to get a better idea of your eligibility.
It doesn’t take long to apply, though. You can simply visit the website of the insurance company that you want to sign with. If you don’t know which company you want to do business with and sign for a plan with, then you can apply at a few different companies. You can simply choose the one that is most appealing to you, but if you are approved at one, then you should be approved by all. Once you meet that minimum age requirements, it is fairly simple to be approved for a Supplement plan.
You will need to have an Original Medicare plan, as the Supplement plans won’t work without it. You can sign up for that at the same time or before you sign up for the Supplement plan. You can do that solely through Medicare, as Original Medicare plans are not available through private insurance companies, except in a roundabout way with Medicare Part C plans. However, those are not compatible with Medicare Supplements. In other words, if you want a Medicare Supplement plan, then you have to go through Medicare to get Original Medicare coverage to go with it.
If you are rejected for one reason or another, then you can always apply later, once you meet the minimum requirements. You may be rejected if you don’t apply at the right time. The best time is during Open Enrollment, which permits you to sign up for any Supplement plan you want with any provider and not have to worry about your preexisting medical conditions getting in the way of good rates.
Open Enrollment for any Medicare Supplemental plan in 2019 starts November 1st 2018 and goes until the middle of December. Once you sign up during that period and you are approved, your plan will take effect on the first of January, 2019. When choosing a 2019 Medicare supplement plan then you need to sign up during that period. You’ll have the best rates and guaranteed approval, so make sure you take time to compare the plans and find the best deal before then.