Medicare Supplemental Insurance is the most stable insurance plan for senior citizens. Due to the ever-changing economy and budget crisis, finding a supplemental Medicare insurance plan and secure Medigap insurance company to work with is extremely important. When you turn 65 years old, and go on Medicare, you will need to purchase some type of insurance plan to supplement Medicare. The reason why is because Medicare only covers a "portion" of healthcare expenses, without a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan, much of the burden is left on you.
To explain further what some of the "gaps" left by Medicare are... Let's start off with talking about Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage). For Medicare Part A, Medicare will require you to pay a deductible and co-insurance. Co-insurance is a percentage or portion of the cost. The co-insurance and deductibles will increase generally every year, however lets give an example of the costs for this year in 2012. If you had to stay overnight in a hospital for at least 1 day, and up to 60 days, you would be required to pay $1,156--this is the Medicare Part A hospital deductible. This would be the flat cost whether you stayed 1 day or up to 60 days.
Let's say you needed to stay in the hospital for longer than 60 days. In this case, you would then have to pay co-insurance. In 2012, if you had to stay in a hospital for days 61-90, you would have to pay $289 per day, and if you stayed longer than 90 days, you would have to pay $578 per day--up until 150 days maximum. Technically any time spent in a hospital after 90 days, you would have to use your lifetime hospital reserve days that Medicare gives you. Generally you only have a maximum of 90 days in a hospital [per benefit period]. Medicare will provide you an extra 60 "lifetime reserve days" that you can use during your lifetime should you need to be hospitalized for longer than 90 days on any one occasion. After these lifetime reserve days are used up, you would have to pay all (100%) of the cost you incur.
Now, all of this might seem like a lot to pay, however, with Medicare supplemental insurance, you can have complete coverage from these out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-insurance, etc). With the proper Medicare Supplement Plan, you will have the peace of mind that all of your healthcare expenses will be taken care of.
With many Medicare Supplemental Policies, the plan will cover 100% of the Part A hospital deductible, as well as 100% of the co-insurance for days 61-90 in a hospital. Another nice feature of Medicare Supplemental Plans is that many plans will offer you an additional 365 days of "lifetime reserve" days in a hospital. This way you can rest assured that if you ever have a very serious or life-threatening health condition, you will be able to get the care you need for no additional cost. You could potentially have hospital coverage for a year and a half without paying anything.
Medicare also only covers 80% of Medical costs, this leaves you paying the remaining 20% out of your own pocket. With the proper Medicare supplemental plan, you can also have coverage for this 20% so the plan will pay that for you. Many people are initially shocked that a Medicare Supplement Plan will pay all of these expenses, but that is indeed the way it works. Keep in mind that nothing comes for free, so you will have to pay for this additional coverage, but it is somewhat reasonably priced compared to many other health insurance plans for senior citizens.
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