Finding A Plan That Fits Your Budget And Care Needs
The world of Medicare supplement plans is a new and unfamiliar one for most people approaching retirement age in Scottsdale. After a lifetime of employer-based or individual health insurance coverage, understanding how Medicare works, why Medicare supplement plans are so critical, and which of those plans is best for you can be an intimidating proposition. But it doesn’t have to be.
If you have questions about the Medicare supplement plans, also called “Medigap” plans, available to Arizona residents, the best way to get the answers you need is to find a reputable medicare supplements insurance broker. However, you can start your Medigap journey by looking at the kinds of plans available and seeing how they fit with your budget and health care needs.
What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
While Medicare will cover a substantial portion of the health care expenses you incur after enrolling, it will not cover all the costs of care, treatments, and other services. You will be responsible for copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and even premiums. And as your healthcare needs increase with age, so too does the amount of money you may need to spend on your care.
Medicare supplement plans, issued by private insurers rather than the government, take care of these “gaps” in Original Medicare, paying for care that could otherwise cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. Medicare supplement plans in Arizona are not stand-alone plans. You can only purchase these plans in combination with Original Medicare Part A and Part B. There are many Medigap plans varying in cost, level of coverage, and area of availability.
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Types Of Medicare Supplement Plans
In Arizona, as in most states, there are ten standardized types of Medicare supplement plans, each identified by a letter, A through N.
As of January 1, 2020, two types of Medicare supplement plans - C and F— are unavailable for people who first became eligible for Medicare on January 1, 2020 or later. These plans cover the Medicare Part B deductible. For new Medicare enrollees, that leaves eight options of Medigap coverage to choose from.
Different Coverages and Different Premiums
Each lettered Medicare supplement plan must provide the same basic set of benefits regardless of which private insurance company offers it. Price is the only difference between plans with the same letter sold by different insurance companies.
Unsurprisingly, you will pay more for plans that offer more coverage. Some plans are high deductible, some require higher cost-sharing, and some cover more expenses. You can visit Medicare.gov for a handy and straightforward chart that compares the benefits offered by each type of plan.
The chart displays ten health care costs common to seniors that a Medicare supplement policy could cover. Some of the more significant expenses include:
- Twenty percent share of the cost of doctor visits.
- Twenty percent share of the cost of lab tests and other outpatient services.
- The deductible for each hospital admission.
- The coinsurance costs of hospital stays or skilled nursing facility stays after being in a hospital.
The private insurers who issue Medigap plans set their premiums using one of three pricing, or “rating,” systems that can vary widely based on where you live:
- Community rated: Also called “no-age-rated,” these policies have the same monthly premium regardless of the insured's age.
- Issue-age rated: Also called “entry-age-rated,” these plans have premiums that are based on your age when you first buy your policy. The younger you are when you enroll, the lower your initial premium.
- Attained-age rated: This premium is initially based on your current age but can rise as you get older.
How To Pick The Best Medicare Supplement Plan For You
As noted earlier, the fundamental factors you should consider when deciding which Medigap plan is right for you are your budget and your current and anticipated care needs. When comparing plans, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want a plan with basic coverage or more extensive coverage?
- Is there a specific type of out-of-pocket cost I need help with, such as copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles?
- Do I want help with Part B excess charges when I visit doctors who don’t accept Medicare payment terms (assignment)?
- Do I want a high-deductible Medicare supplement plan?
- Am I planning on traveling abroad frequently such that I would want overseas coverage?
If You Need Help Choosing The Right Medicare Supplement Plan in Scottsdale, Arizona, You’ve Come To The Right Place
At Anderson Insurance Services, our experienced, independent Arizona Medicare brokers can help you with all of your Medicare needs, from plan selection to enrollment to education and more.
Contact Anderson Insurance Services today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your Medicare questions and needs.