If you are nearing the age to sign up for Medicare, you have many decisions ahead of you. One you will want to think about at enrollment is whether you should choose a supplemental Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. These will help to cover some of the costs involved with your care as you age with things Medicare doesn’t cover.
Health insurance can feel overwhelming, which is why the insurance experts at McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions are here to help you choose. Let’s discuss ways to supplement your Medicare plan!
Coverage at a Glance:
- Medicare only pays around 80% of approved costs for doctors, hospital visits, and medical procedures. It doesn’t cover prescriptions or routine dental care.
- Medigap supplemental insurance fill coverage gaps in Medicare Part A and Part B.
- To avoid gaps in coverage or penalties, you may want to sign up for Medicare Part A or Part B within the 7-month window that begins three months before the month you turn 65 or up to three months after your 65th birthday.
- Medicare Advantage plans include benefits beyond Medicare Parts A and B. These are offered by private companies.
- Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) is optional. If you don’t get it as a stand-alone plan, or part of a Medicare Advantage plan, there may be fees and penalties if you need to buy a policy later.
- Before making any decision for your Medicare coverage, consider plan costs, doctors, your health history, and any additional benefits.
If you qualify for Medicare and don’t know where to start, we’re happy to help! Schedule a call with one of our friendly insurance agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance for all your Medicare and Medigap questions!
Medicare Coverage Basics
There is no way of knowing as you age whether your medical expenses each year will be, which makes budgeting for healthcare costs in retirement that much harder.
While the coverage that you receive with traditional Medicare (Part A and B) is good basic coverage, it only pays around 80% of the costs for doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and medical procedures. The other 20% of the bill is left up to you to pay. Plus, there is no cap on the amount that you might have to pay out in one year.
Plus, some health needs, such as prescriptions, hearing aids, glasses, and dentist visits are not covered by traditional Medicare. To reduce the risk of exorbitant bills and to help fill these coverage gaps, there are two basic ways that you can choose from:
- Medicare plus Medigap supplemental insurance
- Medicare Advantage Plans
You can’t have both, so choose wisely…
Medicare Plus Medigap Supplemental Insurance Policies
To supplement Medicare, beneficiaries have the option to choose Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance). These plans are not endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.
Medigap supplemental insurance is more expensive but has some advantages. Both Medicare and Medigap plans will cover you in any hospital or for any doctor that accepts Medicare. Coverage includes the entire United States, so don’t worry if you travel or spend part of the year up North, and the other in Florida. You’ll be covered wherever you go!
Medigap plans cover out-of-pocket expenses that are NOT covered by Original Medicare. These can include copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Keep in mind that Medigap policies do not include prescription drug benefits, routine dental care, vision, or hearing coverage.
If you have questions about which type of coverage may work better for you, contact McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions to speak with a licensed insurance agent today!
Medicare Advantage Plans
Private insurance companies have a bit more flexibility when they design their Medicare Advantage plans, this means you’ll be able to find more differences in coverage between plans. Have guidance to help ensure you don’t overlook anything in the coverage.
Medicare Advantage gives you the opportunity to get coverage for benefits that Original Medicare and Medigap do not cover including, vision and dental, hearing, and wellness programs. Normally, you would have to pay for these services and appointments out of pocket. You can also choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan which will cover your prescription drugs and give you all-encompassing coverage in a single plan.
Overwhelmed by choosing between Medigap or Medicare Advantage coverage? Not anymore! Call McKnight & McKnight and we will walk you through the care options and help you choose the best plan for your unique situation!
What to Consider Before Making Your Decision
To better make an informed decision, keep these things in mind when researching which plan works best for you:
- The costs and savings between plans.
- Choice of doctor: Original Medicare allows you to use any U.S. doctor that accepts Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans have restrictions, and you might have to choose a doctor in their network.
- Your health history. If you have chronic health issues, you need to choose a plan that will cover you and save you the most money. If you are Diabetic or need prescription drugs, it is wise to decide whether you need a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug coverage).
- Look for broader benefits. Some plans may cover such things as food for service animals, ramps for wheelchairs, indoor air quality monitors, adult daycare, etc. Choose a plan that will fulfill ALL your needs.
Make Sense of Medicare Insurance Options
Now more than ever, it is critical to have the coverage that you need while you age, and if Medicare coverage just isn’t cutting it, we can help you choose a Medigap or Medicare Advantage policy. Remember: there are multiple Medicare Supplement policies to choose from with varying coverage and limits. It’s important to choose wisely.
That’s where our agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions come in! Call our office today or CLICK HERE to schedule a phone appointment for personalized guidance with choosing your Medicare Supplement coverage.