Basic Medicare coverage governs the care that aging patients seek and receive. Huffington Post argues that you do not need supplemental insurance because “The average length of a hospitalization, even for Medicare patients, is about 5 days. Hospitalizations rarely exceed two weeks and 60-day hospitalizations are practically unheard of. Even hospitalizations for heart attacks or major surgeries rarely exceed a week.”
But, the strategy of the government Medicare architecture discourages hospitals from keeping patients longer than their benefits guarantee. Moreover, while the heart attack patients may leave the hospital, they are required to enter rehab facilities or long-term care at additional costs.
Like all insurance plans, Medicare supplements spread the risk to protect you against unexpected costs, including those Medicare does not cover.
Why have Medicare supplement insurance?
The negative thinking in Huffington Post is that the insurance premium is not worth it unless you have expenses equaling or exceeding the premium. And, it’s true that, with enough cash reserves in the bank, you have no need for supplemental medical insurance.
If you have the discretionary income necessary to cover the co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses, and lab test fees not covered by Medicare A and B, you won’t need insurance. However, Medicare serves people of a certain age who are Social Security eligible and not likely to have those reserves.
The same government that created Medicare did so with the intention to discourage its overuse and abuse. It built in hurdles and limits. Congress and the authors of the plans intended to drive part of the cost of care into the hands of the insured people. They sought to balance the public benefit with the individual responsibility, to create a workable entitlement.
Whether the planning and infrastructure have managed that balance is debatable. But, the Medicare administration collaborates with the health insurance industry to merge their respective features for the insured’s benefit.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan G: Everything you need to know about it in 7 points
#1. People have labeled Medicare A as “hospital insurance.” It covers, all or in part, inpatient hospital care, limited home health care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and related expenses.
According to Medicare.gov, patients with Medigap insurance receive coverage for critical inpatient care, including a semi-private room, meals, nursing services, medications that are part of your inpatient treatment, and any other services and supplies from the hospital. This includes inpatient care that received under doctor’s orders.
#2. They call Medicare B the “medical insurance” that covers medical services, necessary medical supplies, outpatient care, preventive services, ambulance services, and durable medical equipment. It also insures the costs of part-time or intermittent home health care and the rehabilitative services and physical therapy ordered by a doctor to treat your condition.
#3. Medicare Supplement Plan G is one of seven plans supplemental to Medicare A and B Plans and Medicare Advantage (Plan C). They vary in the costs they cover, the premium charged, and the expenses not covered. The premiums vary widely from one insurance company to another. But, the government requires all providers to offer the same benefits.
#4. Medicare Supplement Plan G supplements the hospital benefits paid by Medicare Part A. That is, it pays the patient’s coinsurance and hospital costs for an additional 365 days once Medicare benefits are exhausted. It also supplements the Part A hospice care copayment and coinsurance.
In a comparison of policies, Plan G pays the same benefits as Supplemental Plans D and F and more than Plans K, L, M, and N. And, it pays the Part A deductible.
#5. Plan G supplements the Medical Part B Plan. It covers the Part B coinsurance and copayment. However, it does not pay the $134 Part B deductible.
Like Plan F, it does pay 100% of Plan B excess charges, those charges that occur if doctors and providers bill more than Medicare limits.
#6. Only Plan F is more popular than Plan G. Those enrolled in Plan F may continue their membership. But, it will be unavailable to people whose birthday is December 31, 1954 (turning 65 on December 31, 2019) according to Medicare.com.
#7. The premium for Plan F exceeds the price for Plan G in most locations and with most insurance providers. But, considering the only difference in the plan is that Plan F pays the small Part B deductible, Plan G is probably a better bargain for most.
You can review those differences in benefits and premium at www.GoMedigap.com today.
What you need to know
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Policies are private insurance policies designed to supplement the government-provided Medicare insurance.
They differ from Medicare Advantage plans. Applicants cannot have both Medigap coverage and a Medicare Advantage plan.
If you are like most aging adults, you have a fixed income and cannot risk dipping into it to pay for the health care expenses not covered by their Medicare A and B plans.
- If these same aging adults see their health turn for the worst, their Medicare supplement remains renewable for life if you pay the premiums. The policies have no lifetime maximums, and the insurance company cannot cancel the supplement policy due to the frequency or amount of your claims.
- If these same aging adults come to Medicare eligibility with a pre-existing condition, the insurance provider may not reject their application. Supplement Plans do not exclude pre-existing conditions at the application or reject claims arising from pre-existing conditions later.
- And, if these same aging adults want to, they can choose from a large variety of plans to customize their needs and choose the most suitable premium
The supplemental plan premium will increase from year-to-year to offset annual changes in the Medicare premium. But, those increases do not meet inflation patterns. They have also covered costs through rapid advances in medical, hospital, and general healthcare costs. So, while you protect your health, you also protect your pocketbook and nest egg,
And, Medicare Supplement G may be your best option now and against the future.