Whether you are turning 65 or have been a Medicare recipient for years, many seniors find Medicare benefits confusing. According to a recent article from the RISE Association network for healthcare professionals, one in three U.S. seniors lacks knowledge of their Medicare benefits. This lack of information may cost you money.
You may hear the words “Medicare Advantage” (MA) and “Medigap” used interchangeably. Both provide supplemental benefits beyond original Medicare, but they are not the same. Each plan can impact which physicians you visit, your copays and other supplemental offerings. Scheduling time with a licensed health insurance agent can inform you of the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to coverage because the differences are many.
Original Medicare consists of hospital and medical insurance, known as Part A and Part B. Private health insurers offer plans called Part C, also called Medicare Advantage plans. These MA plans offer parts A, B and D for prescription drug charges. In an MA plan, you’ll work within the provider network created by your insurance company. Medigap plans pay after Medicare pays, while MA plans pay instead of Medicare. Medigap is a supplemental plan that covers much of your deductibles and copays. Medigap and MA plan costs vary by state. Since many supplements are “community rated,” states with higher living costs can mean higher Medigap costs.
If you plan to travel internationally, consider this: some supplemental plans cover many of the costs arising from sickness or injury while traveling internationally, while some do not. If you plan to travel overseas, be sure to call us to determine if a travel policy is right for you.
Medicare can be bewildering. Even if you have been on the same plan for years, call us to discuss your plan. We can help you find out which coverage approach is best for you and make sure you are in the know.