Proper healthcare is very important to ensure we stay healthy. Whether it is going to the dentist, going to the doctor for a checkup or ensuring your vision is working properly. This is especially true as you get older. As we age, our bodies can experience issues more frequently, which can lead to more doctor visits, more medication and more healthcare-related spending.
Unfortunately, healthcare is far from affordable if you have to pay for it out of pocket. It is not difficult to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on healthcare in a very short amount of time. As a result, health insurance plans and coverage are common for individuals across the country. These allow people to get the care they need, without having to worry about going bankrupt to deal with their ailments or issues.
In the USA, many seniors are covered by Medicare, which is the federal health insurance plan, mainly for those over 65. In fact, tens of millions of Americans are covered by Medicare in some way. Unfortunately, original Medicare doesn’t inherently cover everything you may need in terms of healthcare. As a result, you may need to supplement your Medicare with other insurance plans.
You have some options when it comes to how you do this. You can opt for a supplemental health insurance plan or a Medicare supplement plan. But which option should you choose? Well, this article is going to go over each, as well as look at which might be the best option for your needs.
What is Supplemental Health Insurance?
Supplemental health insurance is sold by private insurance companies and is added to your existing healthcare coverage. It is meant to cover things that Medicare doesn’t, and the coverage you get can be specifically designed for your individual needs. You can get exactly what you need and can ignore anything that you don’t.
This type of insurance can be purchased at any time and can include things like dental, vision and other important plans. If you are curious about the costs, click here to learn more about the costs of supplemental health insurance for seniors.
What is a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Medicare supplement plans (which are also known as Medigap), are designed in order to fill the various gaps in original Medicare. There are several different Medigap plans, each of which has different benefits and comes with different costs and premiums. Those interested in Medigap need to be sure they take some time and read through each option closely to ensure they know what is included/covered, and what isn’t. Unlike the previous type of health insurance plans for seniors, these Medigap plans will not cover things like dental or vision care.
So now that you know about the two senior healthcare options, which is better? Well, that depends. The right choice for one person might not be the right one for another. In an effort to help, let’s cover a few of the key differences in order to compare each plan and how viable it is when it comes to your needs.
First, let’s look at how the costs of each plan are figured out. When it comes to supplemental health insurance, the costs will depend on where in the country you live and the type of plan you get. Also, each provider may set their own costs, so be sure to shop around for one that is fairly priced. All of this means that these costs can vary greatly, depending on the exact benefits you want and need.
Unlike supplemental health insurance, Medigap policies have three specific ways that they price these plans. Firstly, they can be community-rated. This means that everyone pays the same base premium, no matter how old they are. Secondly, they can be issue-age-rated. This means your rate is determined by the age you were when the insurance was issued, and will not increase. Lastly, attained-age-rated is when the policy is priced based on your age, and will generally increase as you get older.
The exact amounts you will pay monthly for a Medigap policy depend on which type you choose, as well as the insurance company you have decided to work with and your location. On the surface, Medigap plans are generally more expensive, but if you begin to stack up a few different supplemental insurance plans like hearing, dental, vision and others, the costs can be more comparable.
Of course, the cost is only part of the story. You also want to ensure the plans cover what you need. Supplemental health insurance plans run the gamut in terms of what they can cover. Some will cover prescription drugs, others will cover dental work, and some will cover vision. On the other hand, Medigap plans will cover none of these extras. Instead, Medigap is aimed at covering things like co-payments, deductibles, and healthcare when you are traveling internationally.
In general, supplemental health insurance plans offer you more customization options, as you have the choice to decide what you need to be covered. However, Medigap policies are all standardized in terms of their basic benefits, no matter where you buy them. This helps you know exactly what you are getting, and it can be a little more simple to understand and choose.
As you can see, these plans are certainly different and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. They provide different coverage benefits, and each can be a valuable way for a senior to stay healthy without having to worry about their healthcare costing them an arm and a leg.
In conclusion, we hope this article has been able to help you learn which is the better option for you between supplemental health insurance or a medicare supplement plan. There is no right or wrong answer, and the right choice depends on your unique needs and situation. Some people may even decide to utilize both at one time or another.