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Is Medicare Coverage Enough?

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Is Medicare Coverage Enough?

Medicare covers your basic health needs as you age. It helps pay your hospital bills, your medical equipment, and your recovery after a major illness, injury, or surgery. However, if you leave your healthcare to just basic Medicare, you're selling yourself short.

So, how much does Medicare cover?

Not enough. Thankfully, you can bulk up your healthcare coverage with extra Medicare insurance plans. These supplement policies pick up where Original Medicare leaves off, so you get help paying for much more of your medical needs.

We've already explained your Medicare options. Here's a review of plans you can choose from, and which ones can actually cover what you need.

If You Get...

Medicare Part A

Is That Enough?

Definitely not.

Medicare Part A covers your stay at a general hospital, specialized hospital, or skilled nursing facility. It also pays for lab tests, surgery, doctor visits, home health care, and hospice care.

And the best part is, it's free! If you've paid your Social Security taxes for at least 10 years, you don't have to pay anything for Part A. However, as much as you love a free lunch, Part A isn't nearly enough. It's like going for gross cafeteria grub instead of a balanced meal outside the office. Even though it's free (or at least very affordable), it doesn't insure all your health needs.

If You Get...

Medicare Part B

Is That Enough?

Probably not.

Part B of Medicare covers your medical equipment, checkups, therapy, and preventive services. You can go for just Part B from Original Medicare, or add it to Part A. Since Part B isn't free, you pay the government a monthly premium.

However, even if you have Parts A and B, you still lose out on the best possible coverage. If you have a long hospital stay, or you're prescribed expensive medications, you still have to pay completely out-of-pocket for these services. Those costs can suck up thousands of dollars from your savings.

To get help paying for your meds and extra healthcare services, you definitely want more than Part B.

If You Get...

Medicare Part D

Is That Enough?

Maybe.

Medicare Part D covers the cost of your hospital, medical, and prescription medications. Even if you don't have prescriptions right now, you'll probably need them later on. If you're turning 65, now's the time to add Part D to Original Medicare. If you wait more than three months after you first become eligible, you'll have to pay extra to enroll in Part D.

You can only get Part D if you already have Original Medicare (Parts A and/or B); and you can only buy a Part D plan from private insurance companies. You pay the government a premium for Medicare Part B. Then you'll pay your insurer a separate premium for Part D.

If you buy Parts A, B, and D, you'll be insured for most of the medical services you need. Look for Part D plans today!

If You Get...

Medigap

Is That Enough?

Nope.

Medigap is just an add-on to the Original Medicare plan you already have. It's supplement insurance, not a standalone plan.

Parts A and B cover you to a certain dollar limit. You typically have to pay about 20% of the total cost of your healthcare costs -- even for services covered by Original Medicare. As its name implies, Medicare gap insurance fills in the "gaps" that Parts A and B don't cover. Plus, you can even buy supplement plans to cover services like routine dental care.

If you don't want to be stuck with a huge bill for all those out-of-pocket costs that come from a hospital stay and doctor visits, you want Medigap. Just pay a little more each month, and your policy will help pay a bigger part of those costly out-of-pocket fees.

If you want an insurer to pay for those leftover costs, extend your coverage with Medicare supplement insurance.

Medicare Parts A and B don't typically offer enough coverage on their own. You need supplement insurance, too. Use Easy Medicare Quotes to get a free quote on plans in your area.

If You Get...

Medicare Part C

Is That Enough?

Yes.

Also known as Medicare Advantage, Part C covers all "medically necessary" services that Original Medicare covers. (The only exception is hospice care.) Part C basically provides the same coverage you get from Medicare Parts A, B, D, and Medigap. It can offer extra benefits for vision, hearing, and dental work, and it can pay for your prescription drugs.

Like Medicare Part D, you can only get a Part C plan from private insurance companies that sell Medicare-approved policies. However, you can't get any benefits directly from Medicare. You use the doctors and hospitals included in your Advantage plan's HMO or PPO network. What your Part C plan includes, and how much it costs, completely depends on the insurance company and the actual plan you pick.

So, Which Plans Should You Get?

Now that we've gone through all your insurance options, let's sum things up here:

To get Original Medicare, you decide if you want just Part A or B, or both. To get prescription drug coverage, you have two options:

  1. Add Medicare Part D to Original Medicare.
  2. Get Medicare Part C instead.

To get extra help paying for the healthcare services covered by Medicare Parts A, B, and D, buy a supplement Medicare (Medigap) policy. Medigap just helps you pay for what Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn't.

If you don't want to deal with Original Medicare, Part D, or Medigap, just get Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage). You'll get the same benefits as Medicare Parts A and B. You'll also get prescription drug coverage, plus the option to include extra medical services (like dental work, hearing aids, and eyeglass and prescription coverage).

And Where Can You Find Them?

Compare your Medicare supplement options through Easy Medicare Quotes. Once you get a free quote from us, we'll put you in touch with a licensed agent. They'll give you honest, unbiased advice on the best policies in your area.

We know Medicare is confusing. You deserve some extra help before you pick a plan. Start with Easy Medicare Quotes, and find out your options today!