You’ve reached the age of 65, and now you’re eligible for Medicare. However, you may not fully understand what’s covered, what’s not included, and how it works.
There are different parts of Medicare, and in some cases, supplemental insurance isn’t covered. We’re going to go over everything you need to know to get the most out of your Medicare.
What is Supplemental Insurance?
Supplemental insurance is other things that aren’t covered in normal health plans. These include vision, dental, hearing, life, mental health, and more.
Supplemental health insurance for seniors is essential because, as you age, these things start to decrease in function. Even if you never had to see an eye doctor as a young adult, you might need glasses now.
When you don’t have coverage, you’ll have to pay to see these specialists on your own, which can be expensive.
Medicare Coverage Plans
There are two insurance options for you to choose from; Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Coverage is broken down into four sections, Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
Original Medicare includes Part A, which is hospital care, and Part B, medical care. You won’t have to pay a premium for the first, but you’ll have to pay for the latter. The amount owed is based on your yearly income.
You’ll be eligible to go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. The copays and deductibles are usually low or could be zero when you go..
You can add Part D, which is a prescription drug plan if you want coverage. The amount you pay for a premium is based on your plan and income. This will be an added cost to your monthly expense.
With Original Medicare, no supplemental insurance is coverage. You’ll need to go to a private insurance company to be protected for vision, hearing, dental, and others. If not, these will be paid completely out of pocket.
Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, is more of an all in one package. It’s a bundle of Part A, B, and D.
You’ll be more restricted to which doctors you can use, as they need to be in the plan’s network. Most coverage offers extra benefits, like supplemental insurance, in the package. You won’t need to go to a private insurance company with Medicare Advantage.
The cost of the monthly premium depends on the plan you choose. There are Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Special Needs Plans, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.
Depending on what policy you have, you’ll have to pay copays or deductibles when visiting the doctor’s office.
Which One is Better?
Determining if Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage is better is based on your profile and what coverage is provided by your past employer.
Original Medicare will be sufficient if you have supplemental and prescription coverage already given to you with your employer’s retirement agreement. You’ll be able to use them both without a lot of copays or deductibles.
If you want the freedom of going to any doctor, Original Medicare provides a lot more options. You’re not restricted to a network. All out of pocket expenses for hospital and medical visits are covered, and the premiums are low.
However, if your employer doesn’t give you an insurance plan for retirement, it’s better to go with a Medicare Advantage plan. You’ll have a big bundle that covers everything, including supplemental and prescription.
You might have to pay your deductibles and copays or opt for Medigap, a premium addon that helps with those extra expenses. You’ll be limited to going to the doctors in your network because it’s structured more like a traditional insurance plan.
The Bottom Line
Medicare is a great resource for seniors to use to ensure they have proper health insurance. Supplemental coverage is even more important as you age than it was while you were young. Never go without having a policy that includes dental, hearing, vision, and other coverage.
Knowing what Medicare plan works with what you already have in your retirement insurance plan helps you understand which one is best for you. Use our tips to assist you in having adequate supplemental coverage as a senior.