There is always controversy about the medical system in any country. In the United States, concerns generally pertain to the cost of accessing medical care, be it a visit to the doctor or the price of prescription medications. Medicare is one of the most widely used types of health insurance in the U.S., and is held by consumers over the age of 65, plus individuals with chronic health concerns regardless of age.
Their health care coverage includes hospital visits, consultations with doctors, qualified nursing services (outpatient or in the home) or other services related to their care depending on the plan they choose. The entire cost of care or treatment is not covered and there are substantial holes in supplied services and compensation which Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans will partially fill.
There are four separate types of Medicare Insurance Plan. The first one, A, covers some home care, a stay at a nursing facility, and hospice care. With Plan B, there is compensation for some preventative health management to mitigate the symptoms of illness, outpatient visits, and consultations with physicians. Plans C and D pertain to prescription medications, but D is becoming more popular than C. Should you choose Medicare Advantage (Part C) instead of basic Medicare? Read more on the official Medicare website.
What’s Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Insurance?
Medigap is the common name for Medicare Supplement Insurance. There are many sub-types, also labeled with letters, though the alphabet is more widely represented here by the various supplemental plans. It is important for consumers to note that Medigap is not an alternative to Medicare: it is to be acquired in addition to Medicare, to fill holes which this national program has left and which cause consumers financial distress. It addresses some concerns around co-insurance, deductibles, co-payments, and more. Work still needs to be done to look after the cost of private nursing, eye and dental checkups, and long-term care for individuals whose incomes are not sufficient to pay for these needs independently without nationally regulated policies.
Consumers choose their personal Medigap plans according to what they can afford and what they foresee occurring down the road. For instance, if you know that surgery is likely at some time in the next few years owing to your medical condition, you might want to have coverage in place for a potential blood transfusion because any type of surgery can go wrong given the necessary circumstances, even routine surgery. There are likely to be some medications required, and even some other therapies to prevent returning symptoms. Perhaps you expect to travel for work regularly, and there is a real risk that you will need emergency health care overseas owing to your ongoing medical condition. Holiday insurance is not what you are looking for here, but nationally-regulated medical insurance will provide peace of mind.
How Do Medigap Policies Work with Medicare?
Medigap is private insurance, but it is regulated by the federal government. Some states do not recognize Medigap, but Medicare is a national program. It is not for people in good health who want to travel or to be covered if they have an accident. These individuals need to sign up for private insurance policies, but they can consider Medicare and Medigap together once they reach 65, or if they develop chronic illnesses.