There is one simple truth that those of age 50 and older must know. Original Medicare (Parts A & B provided by the government) is designed to be the minumum coverage. With original Medicare, patients are at risk of huge out-of-pocket medical bills in the $1000’s for care that isn’t covered:
- Hospital Visits (Copays & Deductibles)
- Doctor Visits (Copays & Deductibles)
- Preventative Care (Copays & Deductibles)
- Skilled Nursing Facility Care
- First 3 Pints of Blood
- Foreign Travel Emergency Care
This can spell trouble for most retirees that are living on fixed incomes.
How to Get Protected From Out-of-Pocket Costs:
A Medicare Supplement insurance policy, commonly referred to as “Medigap,” is a private form of medical insurance that helps to cover the costs of healthcare that Medicare doesn’t cover. You can buy a Medigap policy for monthly premiums that will pay for the Original Medicare deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance, and other costs when they arise.
When you buy a policy, you have 10 standardized plan options to choose from in most states. While these options are regulated by the federal government, you buy the plans from private insurance companies, not the government.
Government Cuts to Medicare Supplement
Starting in 2020, Medigap policies can no longer cover the deductible for doctor visits and seniors will have to pay for it themselves. Their goal is to make patients think twice about using medical services as they will have to pay something for them. This can be a dangerous mentality to have when considering ones health.
NOTE: Those who have purchased a Medicare Supplement before the government cuts go into effect can be grandfathered in and keep the benefits that will be no longer available.