Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Understanding Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Let’s face it—to a retiree newly eligible for Medicare, it can seem a very difficult program to navigate. Medicare is a mind-numbing maze of coverages, rules and regulations. Many soon-to-be retirees will be depending on it to pay for their healthcare once they hit their golden years. But some may not realize that Medicare doesn’t pay comprehensive coverage for all of their medical expenses.

Gaps in Medicare Coverage

Many Medicare enrollees choose to purchase supplemental insurance from private insurance firms to cover the costs of drugs and medical procedures not fully reimbursed by the program. The number of Medicare “gaps” has risen dramatically over the last few years. Here are examples of the “gaps” the average retiree can expect to pay out-of-pocket if they don’t have supplemental insurance:

  • All charges for most dental care and dentures.
  • All charges for routine physical exams.
  • All charges for eye exams and eyeglasses.
  • All charges for hearing aids and routine hearing loss exams.
  • All charges for long-term nursing home care (if you only need help with daily activities.)
  • Foot care and orthopedic shoes.

*Source: Medicine.Net

When you consider that a couple reaching their 65th birthdays in 2018 will pay a staggering $511,000 just to keep themselves healthy, it only makes sense to have supplemental insurance.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute   

How Supplements Help

The concept of Medicare Supplements can be new to most people entering the age of Medicare. There are a number of ways to get the coverage to fill these gaps in Medicare or to get help with your Medicare costs:

  1. Employer insurance: If you or your spouse is still working, and you have insurance through their job, the respective insurer will work with Medicare to cover your health care costs. Find out whether your employer’s insurance is primary or secondary to Medicare. Primary insurance is health insurance that pays first on a claim for medical and hospital care. Secondary insurance pays after primary insurance.
  2. Retiree insurance: Some employers provide health insurance to retirees and their spouses to fill Medicare Gaps in coverage. Retiree insurance always pays secondary to Medicare.
  3. Supplemental Insurance (Medigap): Insurance that you can buy from a private insurance company to fill the gaps in Original Medicare coverage by paying for your Medicare deductibles, coinsurances and copayments. Depending on where you live, you have several Medigap plans to choose from-with each plan offering a different set of benefits. Premiums vary, depending on the plan you choose and the company you buy it from.
  4. Stand alone Medicare private drug plan (Part D): If you have Original Medicare and want Medicare drug coverage, you need to sign up for a private plan that offers drug coverage. All Medicare drug plans have different costs and a different list of drugs they cover.

How First Senior Financial Group Can Help Fill the Gap

Our role here at First Senior Financial Group is to assist and educate the retiree, and then help them choose the right Medicare Supplement vehicle. Don’t you want to safely cruise into your golden years without harm due to massive health costs? Contact First Senior’s financial advisors today and get the help you need to Crash Proof your retirement nest egg’s health.


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