Entering Medicare should be a cause for celebration. Medicare is a health insurance program designed to provide affordable and comprehensive health care that should help contribute to a quality retirement. Unfortunately, many people are apprehensive about Medicare, primarily because they’re not sure how to handle the out of pocket costs that come with this coverage. This article will lay the foundation for your understanding of what your Medicare costs can be, and also explain how Medicare Supplement Insurance can help reduce your costs. Read on to find out what you need to know about how Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in New Hampshire can help you save on health care in retirement.
In order to see the value of Medicare Supplement Insurance and how much money it can help you save, you have to really grasp the kind of costs you’ll face under Medicare. You need to constantly keep in mind that Medicare was not designed to be free. You will be required to share in the cost for your care. And, while Medicare will pick up most of the tab, what’s left for you to pay can add up in a hurry.
The costs that you will be required to pay are referred to as gaps in your coverage. They include:
The Part A deductible and Part B co-insurance are the most significant costs you’ll face. They will really add up in the face of long, or multiple, hospital stays, or battles with serious illnesses like cancer.
Medicare does not limit your spending in any way; there is no annual limit on costs under Medicare. You will keep paying these cost sharing amounts all year long. Since these expenses can be significant for certain medical treatments, many people look to Medicare Supplement Insurance for protection.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is offered by private insurance companies to help you pay less on medical care with your Medicare benefits. As you might expect from the name, this coverage supplements your coverage from Part A and Part B of Original Medicare. These two coverages work together. As a supplemental benefit, Medicare Supplement (also called Medigap) doesn’t provide any benefits on its own. It only works with Original Medicare.
Medigap plans pay some or all of the costs that you’d typically pay when using your Medicare benefits. For instance, if you’re admitted to the hospital, you’re responsible for paying the Part A deductible. For 2022, that would cost you $1,556. Medicare Supplement Plans can help pay that for you. Some Medigap plans will pay 50% of this charge for you, and others will pay 100% of it.
Everytime you see a provider, you’ll pay for your care with both of your coverages. Your providers bill Medicare first. Medicare will pay the appropriate amount; for Part B services, Medicare will pay the first 80% of the approved costs. You’d normally be responsible for the remaining 20%, but instead, your providers will bill your Medigap plan for this amount. Depending on which Medigap Plan you enrolled in, your Plan will pay most, or all, of this amount.
Medigap Plans are regulated at both the federal and state level. 47 states, plus Washington, D.C., have adopted standardized Medigap plans, and New Hampshire is one of these. In the standardized states, there are ten Medicare Supplement plans, and each plan has the exact same benefits in all of the standardized states. The plans available in these states are known by letter: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each one of these plans has a different level of coverage, but the benefits of each one is the same throughout all 47 states, so Plan G in Montana has the exact same benefits as Plan G in New Hampshire.
As mentioned earlier, there are ten different standardized plans. However, some of them are more commonly used than others. Two of the most popular Medicare Supplement Plans in New Hampshire are Plan N and Plan G. Here’s a quick summary of how each one of them works.
With Plan N, you will be responsible for paying the Part B deductible each year ($233 for 2022). Plan N pays the Part A deductible. In fact, Plan N will pay ALL of the costs you’d normally have to pay, with the exception of Part B excess charges, which are rare.
When you have Part B office visits, you’ll pay a $20 co-payment. With Plan N, your spending is limited to the Part B deductible plus however many office visits you use during the year.
Plan G is even more comprehensive than Plan N. You will also have to pay the Part B deductible with Plan G. After that, though, Plan G will cover all of the rest of your share of cost for the rest of the year.
You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan as soon as you’re active in Medicare Part A and Part B. For most people, this happens at age 65. However, if you delay taking Part B because you’re still working, you’ll be able to get Part B, and Medigap coverage, once your employer coverage comes to an end.
It can be difficult to get Medicare Supplement if you’re under 65 years old. Federal laws don’t require Medigap Plans to cover people under 65. Each state sets its own rules on this point. Medicare Supplement Plans in New Hampshire are required to cover people under 65 years old. However, the premiums for this coverage can be substantially higher than for people aged 65 and older.
Yes. You can switch during Medicare’s Annual Election Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.
The best time to enroll is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This six month period begins when you are 65 or older and active in Part B. During this window, you are guaranteed enrollment into any Medigap plan available to you.
Possibly. You have the right to apply for new coverage. But, if you’re past your Open Enrollment Period, your application might be declined due to your health history.
No. You should consider adding separate coverage to help with those costs.
No. To get help with drug costs, enroll in a separate Part D drug plan.
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