Medicare supplement plans compensate for shortfalls in Medicare Parts A and B coverage.
Medicare supplement plans are a smart, affordable way to ensure a lengthy illness does not result in financial trouble.
Our product experts have determined that the following represent the 14 most important benefits of Medicare supplement plans.
14 Benefits Of Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Parts A and B do not cover everything. That’s where Medicare supplement plans come in. The following list lays out the many benefits of these supplemental insurance plans.
1: Medicare supplement plans cover out of pocket expenses.
People tend to think that Medicare will cover their healthcare costs when they get older. But Medicare is a big picture program. And the devil, as we know, is often in the details. The details in terms of healthcare are out of pocket expenses not covered by Medicare. They can quickly add up and cause severe economic hardship for the unprepared. Medicare supplement plans will cover most of those costs.
2: Medicare supplement plans protect your nest egg.
A recent study revealed that many seniors in America are spending their life savings to cover medical costs (1). It’s fair to say that this is not what most of them had in mind when they were putting money aside in their 30s and 40s. Medicare supplement plans can help prevent this type of travesty and enable retired folks to avoid being healthcare hostages.
3: Medicare supplement plans provide peace of mind.
People tend to think seniors are fixated on death. But there are actually many things they fear just as much or even more than dying (2). Among those fears are declining health, a loss of mobility, and a lack of money. One reason many older individuals wind up financially strapped is because of spiraling healthcare costs. Medicare supplement plans can reduce that financial burden and provide seniors with much-appreciated peace of mind.
4: Medicare supplement plans go where you go.
Many, if not most, Medicare supplement plans offer coverage of medical expenses in foreign countries. In addition, when you travel from state to state, you can take your supplemental insurance with you. That’s the case even if the state you’re going to doesn’t offer the Medicare supplement plan you have. The bottom line: with Medicare supplement insurance, you’re covered wherever you go.
5: Medicare supplement plans let your family rest easy.
The high cost of senior healthcare does not just affect the seniors themselves. It almost always has a cascading effect on the financial health of their children. More and more Americans are declaring medical bankruptcy because they’re overwhelmed by the cost of caring for their aging parents (3). Medicare supplement plans can help children of elderly parents rest a little easier.
6: Medicare supplement plans cover the cost of prescription drugs.
The cost of prescription drugs is out of control (4)(5). At the same time, Medicare coverage of prescription drug costs is notoriously limited (6). That means that unless you have the right Medicare supplement plan, the financial burden for prescription drugs falls mainly on you. Medicare supplement plans are an affordable way to protect your health and your savings.
7: Medicare supplement plan benefits are predictable.
Because the federal government regulates these plans, each plan is the same regardless of which company is offering it. So why bother shopping around? Because, while they may cover the same things, they don’t all cover the same areas, provide access to the same number of healthcare facilities or cost the same.
8: Medicare supplement plans offer a range of coverage options.
The government approves and regulates 10 different types of supplemental Medicare coverage. They address the various gaps in Medicare coverage. Those gaps include the cost of extended hospital stays, copayments, skilled nursing facility care, Medicare Part A and B deductibles, Part B excess charges, healthcare costs incurred while traveling, and preventive care.
9: Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed to be there for you.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, or you’re not yet 65, or you’re not enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you can be denied supplemental coverage. However, if none of those things apply to you, then you can’t be turned down for Medicare supplement insurance (7). The only condition is that you must apply during your open enrollment period, which lasts for six months after you turn 65.
10: Medicare supplement plans are sometimes offered at a discount.
AARP offers Medicare supplemental plans through UnitedHealthcare. They also offer a discount on those Medicare supplement plans to AARP members who meet certain requirements (8). Such a discount can make a big difference for those seniors on a fixed income. Keep in mind that not all insurance providers offer these discounts.
11: Medicare supplement plans provide long term care coverage.
Medicare will cover your hospital costs up to 60 days (after you pay the $1,364 deductible). After 60 days, however, you’ll be responsible for $341 per day. And after 90 days, that increases to $682 per day. So if you spend four months in the hospital due to a serious illness, your out of pocket cost will be approximate $30,000. Medicare supplement plans can cover almost all of that cost.
12: Medicare supplement plans cover nursing home expenses.
Original Medicare will cover the costs of a nursing home for up to 20 days. After that, you’ll be responsible for some $150 or so per day. But if you sign up for Medicare supplemental insurance plans C, D, F, G, M, or N, your portion of the bill is covered up to 100 days. That’s potentially $12,000 in coverage.
13: Medicare supplement plans cover excess charges.
Not every doctor accepts Medicare’s ‘approved amount’ as being enough for them. These doctors are allowed by law to charge 15 percent more than Medicare covers (9). These are known as ‘excess charges’. If you don’t have Medicare supplement insurance, these charges can add up quickly. Fortunately, several supplement plans will cover 100 percent of these costs.
14: Medicare supplement plans can’t be canceled for no reason.
This is another outstanding feature of Medicare supplement plans. Insurers are prohibited by law from canceling your policy for no reason. The only case in which they’re allowed to cancel your coverage is if you don’t pay the premium amount. So, as long as you continue to make your monthly payments, your supplemental insurance cannot be taken from you.
Medicare supplement plans enable you to fill in the blanks in Medicare coverage and avoid the type of financial calamity that all-too-often befalls the elderly. Medicare supplement plans also lift the financial burden from loved ones and allow everyone to rest a little easier.