Medicare Part A and Part B plans don't cover all of a person's medical expenses. People sometimes choose to purchase other supplemental plans to help cover these gaps, such as Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D plans for medications or medicare supplement insurance plans, also known as Medigap policies.
Compare the Cost and Availability of the Different Options
Medicare Advantage plans may be less expensive options for some people compared to the cost of Medicare Part D and a Medigap policy. However, they may not be available in all areas, and copays may be involved for each visit. Some Medicare Advantage plans cover extra services that aren't covered by other plans, such as vision or dental care, so look into the coverage of plans available in your area to see if this is the case as it may make the plan a better choice for you.
Look Into Restrictions
Medicare Advantage plans typically restrict patients to a certain network of doctors, outside of which you may need to pay the full price for the care you get. Medicare supplement insurance plans, on the other hand, usually don't have network restrictions and let you see any doctor that accepts patients with Medicare. They don't usually cover vision, private nurses, dental, medications, hearing aids or long-term care. Make sure the plan you choose covers the geographic areas you need and is accepted by the doctors and specialists that you prefer.
Decide Which Gaps in Coverage You Most Need to Fill
Medigap plans go from A to N, with each of the plans covering certain things. As the letters go up in the alphabet, both the coverage and the cost go up. Figure out which of these plans offers the best mix of services for you. Then you can compare rates across insurance companies, as all plans with the same letter cover the same basic mix of services.
You can't purchase a Medigap plan if you don't already have Medicare Part A and Part B, and there are only certain periods when you can purchase the plan, such as within the first six months after you become eligible for Medicare. Check to make sure you understand the rules about when you can apply. Once you've signed up for a Medigap plan, it will continue as long as you keep paying the premiums on time; they can't take it away should you be diagnosed with any particular medical issue. Medicare Advantage plans must be renewed each year.
Insurance is something that I carry in the hopes that it never has to be used. Along with life coverage, I also have low cost auto insurance and a health plan through my employer. I'm toying with the idea of adding some additional coverage, just in case something happens and I'm no longer around to take care of my family. The question that is on my mind is how much insurance is enough? Do I really need more, or would it be better to cultivate other assets that my loved ones can draw on if needed? If you are in the same boat, let's journey together for a while. Read on and I'll explain what I'm trying and why. Together, we can figure out when it is time to add more coverage and when enough really is enough.