One of the best ways to stay healthy is to get the medical attention and medications that you require, but every year this becomes more difficult because of expenses. The rising costs of health care seems like it’s never going to end. For retirees that are living on a fixed income, paying these expensive bills can be difficult, which is why a lot of seniors aren’t getting the healthcare that they need and deserve.
The costs of going to the hospital or doctor is one of the main reasons that many seniors don’t get the care that they want, because they can’t afford it. No person should ever have to sacrifice their health because of money. If you already have a plan such as Medigap Plan J and have questions or simply want to know the purpose of Medicare, we can help you.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against massive hospital bills and treatment expenses is to buy a Medigap Plan. These insurance policies can help you pay for the health care that will keep you happy and healthy for years to come. There is a lot of confusion surrounding these supplemental plans and what they do. We would like to clear up that confusion to help you make education and well-informed decisions. If you are interested in information about a Medicare supplement in Georgia, we can answer whatever questions you may have.
There are 10 different plans that are standardized across the United States (aside from a few states), which means that these plans are going to offer the exact same coverage in every state. Each of the plan covers different expenses or different portion of the same expenses. In this article, we will discuss what is covered and the advantages of Medigap Plan B.
The advantage to a plan like Medicare supplement plan B is that the premiums are usually very low. What you need to know is how those premiums match up with the added risk you are taking. If you need to get a set of Medicare supplement quotes from supplemental insurance companies, and not only on plan B but for other plans as well such as Medicare Plan G, fill out the form on this page, otherwise, keep reading as we look at Medigap plan B and its benefits.
How Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Work?
Medicare Supplement insurance is specifically designed to supplement Medicare’s benefits and is sold through insurance agencies, not Medicare like most people believe. It is regulated by both federal and state law. Unlike some types of health insurance coverage that restrict where and from whom care can be received, Medicare Supplement insurance typically pays the same benefits, regardless of the health care provider that you use. For example, if Medicare pays for a certain service, wherever it is provided, the Medicare Supplement insurance policy must also pay its share of the benefits. For a lot of Medicare enrollees, the additional coverage is an excellent benefit to their healthcare.
Expanded Medicare Coverage
Medicare supplemental insurance Plan B adds coverage for five of the nine coverage gaps left by Medicare Part A and Part B. This can add up to big savings if you are ever admitted to the hospital or have an ongoing condition that requires frequent out-patient visits. The extra coverage you get with a Medicare plan B policy are:
- 100% coverage for the coinsurance for Medicare Part A, Part B, and Hospice Care
- Coverage for the first three pints of blood you receive in a blood transfusion
- 100% coverage for the Medicare Part A deductible of $1,184 for each benefit period (this is more frequent than annually)
Medicare Supplement Plan B is considered to be one of the more basic of the supplemental policies. With this in mind, the premium for this plan is typically less than most of the other Medicare Supplement plans that are available in the marketplace.
Some of the notable things that Medigap B doesn’t cover are foreign travel care, skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, Medicare Part B excess charges, and the Medicare Part B deductible. The most misunderstood of these is the Part B excess charges, which could have a huge impact on your health care and your wallet.
For any medical service or treatment, Medicare has a predetermined amount that they will pay to the hospital. If the doctor or hospital decides that they need to charge more than the Medicare approved amount, they can charge up to 15% more than that amount, which is the excess charges. If you have a service or fee that has excess charges, Plan B won’t pay for any portion of them. In most cases, these excess charges won’t impact you, or it will be a relatively small amount, but there are some treatments that you could end up with hundreds of dollars in excess charges.
Medigap Plan B vs Other Medicare Supplemental Plans
Medicare plan B only fills five of the coverage gaps left by Medicare Parts A and B. This makes it only slightly better than plan A which covers four. So the other eight plans all offer from slightly better to significantly better coverage in the case of Medicare supplement plan F. The difference is you will get higher premiums with the plans that offer more coverage. This does not mean that Medicare supplement insurance plan B is the best choice based only on price. You will need to do a comparison between the different Medicare supplement plans available in your area. You may find that the added monthly cost of Medicare supplement plan F is worth the coverage you would get over Medicare Plan B or Plan K, which has a high deductible (Learn more about Medicare supplement plan K).
When you’re deciding which plan works best for you, there are a couple factors that you should consider. The first one, and most obvious, is the price. As we mentioned early, Plan B is cheaper than other plans, but it doesn’t have as much coverage. Do you have enough money set aside to pay the more expensive premiums or is Plan B the best that you can realistically afford? If purchasing a more extensive plan, like Plan F, would stretch your budget a little too thin, you can eliminate it from the search. This is the perfect time to sit down and look at your budget and see how much you can put towards health care related expenses.
The other factor to consider is your health. Obviously, you can’t predict the future and how your health is going to be, but you can make a few educated guesses. How has your health been in the past? Have you had any consistent problems or a family history of severe health problems?
If you are in relatively good health with no history of health complications, then you could consider getting a plan like Plan B that leaves more holes in coverage, but saves you money every month. The additional coverage could be a waste of money for you.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Medicare Supplement Plan B Insurance Policy?
Similar to other Medicare Supplement plans, Plan B offers basic benefits for medical and hospital costs. In addition, it also adds some additional hospitalization coverage benefits. Therefore, this particular plan may be a good choice for those who are seeking more coverage than Medicare Part A and Part B offers – in particular for hospital costs. Look at your past couple years of hospital expenses or health care expenses and see how much of that would be covered under Part B to see if this plan could be beneficial for you.
How to Shop for Medicare Supplement Plan B Coverage?
When shopping for Medicare Supplemental coverage, there are several things to keep in mind. First, only those who are enrolled in Original Medicare are eligible for this type of coverage. Therefore, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), you will not be able to also purchase Medicare Supplement insurance coverage.
In addition, while the benefits for Medicare Supplement Plan B will be identical from one insurance company to the next, the premium can vary a great deal. Therefore, it is important to obtain quotes from several different carriers in order to determine which one will offer the premium that best fits with your budget. You can spend hours on the phone contacting different insurance companies looking for the best rates, or you can let us do all of the hard work for you.
When to Buy Your Medigap Plan B
When you’re shopping for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, there is one extremely important factor, when you buy it. You can purchase a plan at any point after you turn 65 as long as you’re enrolled into original Medicare Parts A and B, but there is time span that you can use to your advantage.
The best time to enroll in your Medigap plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment period, which is six months before the month that you turn 65 and enroll in original Medicare. This open enrollment is hands-down the best time to shop for your supplemental insurance, in fact, missing it could be costly to your bank account.
Inside of the six-month period, these policies are guaranteed issue, which means that during this open enrollment, the insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of your health or any pre-existing conditions. You can choose any of the plans that the company offers without fear of being turned down. The other advantage is that they can’t charge you more in monthly premiums because of your health or any pre-existing conditions that you have.
Once you are outside of the six-month period, then the company will treat your application just like any other insurance applicant. Outside of open enrollment your application will have to go through the medical underwriting that the company has placed on the Medigap plan, and if your health doesn’t meet their standards or your have severe health problems, you could be denied coverage. You could also be facing much higher monthly premiums. If you’re getting close to turning 65, don’t let your open enrollment period pass you by.
Even if you have already missed your six-month window, don’t think that you still can’t be accepted for a Medigap policy. You might have to pay a little extra every month, but these plans almost always pay for themselves through the years. You can’t put a price on the peace of mind knowing that you health care coverage will be enough to get you the attention you need without breaking your bank.
You will want to use and independent agent no matter which Medicare supplement plan you choose. This is because an independent agent does not work for any one company. So instead of getting only quotes for AARP Medicare supplement plan B or Humana plan B you can shop between all the companies in your area. We work with many of the top rated Medicare Supplement insurance carriers in the industry, and can assist you with obtaining premium quotes quickly and easily online. Not only will we ensure that you get the best rates for the perfect Medigap plan for you, but we save you hours answering the same question. Simply fill out the form on this page to obtain the quotes that you need.
If you have additional questions regarding Medicare Supplement Plan B quotes – or even about Medicare Supplement in general – just give us a call toll-free at 800-376-0824 and we’ll be happy to help.