Millions of Americans turn to Medicare Supplement Insurance to enhance their basic Medicare benefits. If you’re putting together a plan for your coverage, or thinking about making changes to your existing coverage, consider getting a Medicare Supplement Plan. Among the many benefits of this product is protection from high out of pocket costs when you seek medical care. Read the rest of this article to find out more about the costs of your Medicare coverage, and how Medicare Supplement Plans in Wyoming can help guard your budget.
Many people make a mistake by thinking that Medicare will cover all of their medical expenses. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Medicare will pay for most of your medical care, but you will be required to pay for part of the cost for almost every service or procedure you receive. The specific amount and type of cost will depend on which aspect of Medicare you're using - Part A or Part B.
Part A provides coverage for hospital and other in-patient care. It also covers certain aspects of home health care and hospice care. The most common services are hospitalization and skilled nursing facility care. The costs you’ll encounter for Part A include:
As you would expect, you’ll have to pay the deductible first. When you do this, Medicare will cover theses costs:
In the rare case that you need longer stays than these, you’ll start paying daily co-payments.
Part B covers a wide variety of outpatient care. This kind of care can include doctor’s visits, lab work, x-rays, and outpatient surgeries. When using your Part B services, you will be responsible for:
Once you pay the small Part B deductible, you’ll be responsible for fixed co-insurance of 20% of the Medicare-authorized charges for every Part B service you receive. In addition to this, you might have to pay excess charges of 15%, which are added to the basic 20% co-insurance, in certain circumstances.
Regardless of whether you’re paying Part A or Part B expenses, the important thing to note is that you don’t have the benefit of a cap or limit on your spending. This is very different from other kinds of health insurance, where you usually have an annual Out of Pocket Maximum (OOPM). Instead, with Original Medicare, you will spend money all year long, no matter how much you pay. To avoid such a situation, many people turn to Medicare Supplement Insurance for protection.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap coverage) Plans are supplemental health insurance policies offered by private health insurance companies. These plans integrate with your existing Medicare benefits and rights. They cover many of the amounts that you would otherwise be responsible for. With the protection available from Medicare Supplement, you can limit your spending on medical care to a few hundred dollars per year.
Medigap plans offer standard benefits in 47 of the United States, as well as Washington, D.C. Wyoming is one of these. In these states, there are ten standardized Medigap plans. Standardized means that each of those ten plans provides a unique mixture of coverage, and each one has the same benefits in all of the 47 states. The other three states have their own, unique, Medigap plans.
The coverage provided by a Medicare Supplement Plan refers to the amount of costs that it pays for you. For instance, all standard Medigap plans will pay 50% or more of your Part B co-insurance. But, only some of them pay the Part B deductible. Not all of them cover the Part A deductible. Since each one of the standard plans offers its own benefits package, you can choose a plan that protects you against the costs that most concern you. This also makes it easy to compare the prices offered by different insurance companies.
You use your Medigap coverage right alongside your Part A and B benefits. So, if you visit the hospital or see your doctor, you’ll provide both your Medigap Plan card and your Medicare card. Once you’ve met any required deductible, Medicare will begin paying claims. For Part B services, they will pay 80% of the cost. Your providers will also bill your Plan for the other 20%. Your Plan will pay some or all of this amount (it depends on the specific Plan you chose). If there is any non-covered amount, it will be your responsibility.
For Part A services like hospitalization, most of the Plans cover the deductible for you. However, Plan A doesn’t cover it at all. Plans K, L, and M pay part of it for you.
Since Medigap Plans don’t modify your basic Part A and B benefits, you still have the chance to see any medical provider, anywhere in the country, that accepts Medicare patients. Not only this, but you generally won’t need to get referrals to see specialists, either. Medicare Supplement Insurance lets you enjoy the freedom of Original Medicare, while protecting you from the potential costs associated with it.
In order to get Medicare Supplement Insurance, you have to be enrolled in both Parts A and B of Medicare. Generally this happens when you turn 65 years old. For those who qualify at 65, they can enroll in Parts A and B during their initial seven month eligibility window. This window opens three months before the month they turn 65. Once you're squared away with Parts A and B, you can add your Medigap coverage.
If you decide to delay your Medicare coverage because you intend to work past age 65, you’ll have the ability to add both Part B and a Medigap plan whenever your employer coverage comes to an end.
It’s possible to get Medicare coverage before you turn 65 if you meet certain disability and critical illness diagnoses. Medicare Supplement Plans in Wyoming are not required to give coverage to people under 65. Those with Medicare who are younger than 65 might want to consider Medicare Advantage coverage until they turn 65.
No, this is something you can voluntarily add if you want to.
In some cases, yes. Depending on when you do this, you might have to answer health history questions on your application. You could potentially be denied coverage, or charged a higher premium, if you don’t meet the Plan’s requirements.
Some of them do. Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N give you international emergency coverage.
Yes. This can be done during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) that occurs each fall.
No. When you choose Medigap, you’ll also need to enroll in Part D prescription drug plan.
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