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Medicare Articles of Interest:

Medicare

Medicare Insurance: What are the facts?

Medicare Prescription Coverage

Original Medicare Plan

Medicare Assignment

Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part B

Medigap Insurance

Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement Plans: 10 Important Shopping Tips

Medicaid Articles of Interest:

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Medicaid Eligibility: How do you know for sure?

Apply for Medicaid: 5 Important Decision Points

Medicaid Law: Protecting assets while qualifying for Medicaid

Medicaid Law and Protecting Your Parent's Assets Page #2

Medicaid Spend Down to Eligibility

Senior Articles of Interest:

Alzheimer's Disease

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

Dietary Supplements for Anti-Aging

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medical Conditions and Information for the Elderly

Medication Information for the Elderly

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

Psychiatric Medications

Social Security: Can I get it now?

Web Site Map

 

 

 

Medicare, Medigap and Health Insurance Choices for Seniors

 

 

 

A healthy lifestyle, diet and attitude are all crucial elements to maintaining happiness and health and enjoying longevity.  Because of modern medicine, we now have the means to prevent and cure diseases that would have been deadly and impossible to beat years ago.  These advances are incredible and nothing short of a miracle.  As our ability to fight and defeat disease increases, so does the cost associated with medicines and research needed to conquer these illnesses and maintain good health. 

While there are many ways that people might pay for medicines and health services, there may be some who are disabled or elderly and unable to work to afford these treatments.  Being keenly aware of these needs, the US government created the Medicare system in 1965.  This program enables seniors and certain people on disability to receive medical care, supplemented by the government, at a fraction of what it would be to pay out of pocket.

Medicare Explained

Medicare is separated into four different parts, A, B, C and D.  Parts A and B are automatic enrollment programs, which means that Medicare recipients will automatically receive the coverage’s provided by these parts.  C and D, however, are optional, which enables people to decide if they would like to increase their Medicare coverage for a small fee. 

Parts A and B are basic coverage policies that cover hospital expenses and general health care.  These parts provide financial reimbursement for basic services such as doctor’s visits, lab tests, some hospital stays and services and so on.  Part B will also cover any additional services that are performed in an outpatient facility and not in a hospital.

Part C is the Medicare Advantage Plan.  Medicare Advantage Plans are not provided by the government and can be purchased through private insurance companies.  Part C replaces the coverage and services provided by Medicare and replaces them with equally proficient services from physicians and facilities within the network of the private provider.  While Medicare maintains strict limitations on care available and limits the professionals who can provide the care, Medicare advantage plans enable enrollees the ability to select their physicians and where they receive medical attention.  The fees associated with Part C are generally a bit higher than the fees charged by Medicare and are typically paid for through a monthly premium.

 

Medicare Part D is another optional part of Medicare, and it covers prescription drugs.  While Medicare does not offer prescription drug coverage, they approve certain stand-alone prescription coverage plans that Medicare enrollees can choose from.  In addition, Medicare recipients have the option to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan that provides prescription coverage.  While these plans are not provided by Medicare, some of the cost is offset by Medicare.  Prescription drug plans are fully customizable and enrollees can choose which drugs they do want covered, as well as those they do not wish to pay for.

Additional Options for Seniors

Although Medicare is a great system, there may be some people who have a history of disease in their families and want to prepare in case of more dire circumstances.  There are certain limits to what Medicare will pay for each year.  Those who anticipate medical expenses in excess of what Medicare will cover may feel like they have no options to help pay for their costs.  This, in fact, is not realistic, as private insurance providers have been allowed to build on top of the basics that Medicare covers and offer insurance plans that provide for more extensive medical coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans are a great place for the elderly to find additional medical coverage.  As explained, Medicare Advantage Plans is medical insurance provided by private companies that replace the coverage provided by Medicare.  The government requires that Medicare Advantage Plans provide at least the same amount and quality of coverage as is provided by Medicare.  The benefit of an Advantage plan is that the policy holder has the option to change the services provided to fit the plan to their own needs.  These plans cost more than Medicare, but provide more tailored coverage to the policy holder.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance

An additional option when selecting private insurance is Medicare Supplemental Insurance ( www.medicaresupplementalinsurance.com ) This insurance, commonly called “Medigap,” is a private insurance that “fills the gaps” of Medicare coverage.  With six different Medigap plans ( www.medicaresupplementalinsurance.com/medicare-coverage) options available, there is bound to be one to fit the needs of each Medicare enrollee.  These policies are provided by private insurance companies, meaning that the coverage’s and prices associated will differ depending on the provider.

If you or a loved one is growing older and in need of health insurance, take time to consider your options.  Take your future very seriously and consider all of your health needs.  Maintaining your health is the start to enjoying the opportunities that arise in life.  Ensure that you will be around to enjoy these opportunities by learning about Medicare and the associated available insurances.

Web page by Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate  Clinical Director- Senior Care Psychological Consulting

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