Medicare offers great insurance coverage for seniors who need to receive care in a hospital. However, seniors who are relatively healthy may find that using only Medicare can leave them with a lot of out-of-pocket costs. The 20 percent coinsurance for doctor visits can be challenging for older people on a fixed income. Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem. Seniors who purchase Medigap insurance may be more likely to visit their doctor when they need to and less likely to need hospital care.
What Medigap Covers
Medigap policies are secondary to Medicare. This means they pick up the difference between the allowed charges and what Medicare pays. These fees would normally be passed on to the patient. This means when a senior chooses one of these insurance options, they won’t have to pay the per diem Part A copay for hospital stays or the 20 percent coinsurance for their doctor visits.
Costs for Medigap Coverage
It’s important for older people to think about how they will pay for their health care before they retire. While they are working, people typically only need to have one insurance policy. That policy generally covers all of their preventive care and may cover a percentage of other services, like outpatient procedures, after the patient has met their annual deductible. When they retire and enroll in Medicare, the premiums are deducted from their monthly Social Security check.
Seniors who plan for this transition may start looking into Medigap plans prior to retirement. Because they are secondary policies, they are much less expensive than traditional insurance. However, it’s important to work with a trusted agent or broker to get the right plan at the right price. There are a lot of coverage options out there, and seniors need to know they have a policy that will make payments for the things they need.
Health care is often a significant expense for seniors after they retire. With proper planning and the right Medigap policy, older people can get the medical care they need without having to worry about how they will pay the bills when they start arriving in the mail.