While Medicare is an important program to provide Americans with health care, there are several confusing components of Medicare that some enrollees don’t understand, which can lead to confusion and complications in the future. One of the common misunderstandings with Medicare comes with the yearly deductibles, which play a major role in your healthcare coverage. It’s vital that you understand the various parts of Medicare and what you are paying.
Understanding what you’re paying and ways that you can offset it is one way to ensure that you live a long and healthy life. Seniors have a tendency to put off buying health coverage, believing that the cost is too much, and that is a mistake.
There are several different expense categories that you should be aware of as a Medicare enrollee. One of those is the yearly deductible amount, which plays a major role in how much you pay for your healthcare every year. To clear up any confusion, or any questions that you have about deductibles for Medicare, we have outlined the expense and how it impacts you.
Yearly Deductibles Explained
Put simply, the calendar-year deductible is the amount that you have to pay before the coverage kicks in and the program starts paying for your healthcare services and treatments. Until you reach your yearly deductible for the calendar year, you’ll have to pay for all of the hospital and medical bills yourself. Which means that everything is coming out of pocket until then.
Once you reach the deductible amount, that’s when Medicare will start paying their portion of your expenses. Once the year is over, in January, you’ll have to reach the deductibles amount again, and you’re back where you started. Every year that you’re enrolled in Medicare, you’ll have to meet this deductible if you want coverage from the program.
Each part of Medicare has a different deductible that you’ll have to reach before you start getting coverage. Part A Medicare, which covers the cost of inpatient hospital expenses, skilled nursing facility costs, and a few other health care services, has one of the highest deductible amounts. In 2018, the Part A deductible is $1,340.
For Medicare Part B, the deductible in 2018 is set at $183.00. Everything that you pay towards the doctors and your health care (minus a few exceptions like copayments) go towards meeting this limit.
Every year, Medicare looks at the deductible amount and the government officials decide if the deductible should increase or stay the same. Every year you will have to ensure that the deductible hasn’t changed. Otherwise, you could end up spending more out-of-pocket than you expected at the beginning of the year.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policies
One way that you can offset the costs of healthcare and the expensive medical bills is to purchase an additional insurance policy to fill in the gaps left behind by Medicare. These Medicare supplemental insurance policies are a great tool to give you additional health insurance without breaking your bank in premiums or leaving you vulnerable to massive hospital bills. Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies and add extra protection that isn’t provided by Original Medicare, which can leave some enrollees with thousands of dollars of expenses that they have to pay out-of-pocket.
There are ten different Medigap plans for you to choose from, they are all named after letters of the alphabet, and all of them cover different holes left by Medicare or different portions of those expenses. These plans can cover anything from Part B excess charges to foreign medical emergency fees. It’s easy to see why these plans can be so important for millions of Medicare enrollees. It’s the best way to ensure that you’re getting the health care services that you need without having to sacrifice your retirement dream.
Choosing a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policy
Because there are ten different Medigap plans to choose from, it can be difficult deciding which one is best for you. There are several key factors that you’ll need to consider if you want to make the best choice for you and your family.
Take stock of your current health situation. This will help your decision of the plan to choose. Are you normally healthy and your family’s history of health is pretty good? Than plan G or plan N might be the way to go. However, if you’re already showing signs of health issues our suggestion is too look at Plan F because of the complete coverage it offers.
Another factor to look at is your budget. As a Medicare enrollee, you’re probably living on a fixed income, which means that every dollar is precious. You’ll need to take a hard look at your finances before you apply for supplemental coverage. Everyone would like to have a Medigap Plan F, but not everyone can afford the comprehensive plan, some people should only choose a Plan A, which provides less coverage but has more affordable monthly premiums.
The one thing that should be noted is that these policies don’t cover any prescription costs. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, these policies are no longer allowed by law to assist in paying for any drug costs. If you’re looking for additional coverage to offset the costs of your medications, then these plans are not going to help you.
Medicare and Deductibles
It’s easy to see how millions of Medicare enrollees can get confused with all of the different numbers and terms that are involved in the program. But it’s vital that you understand exactly what you’re paying and the amounts that you’ll be required to pay out-of-pocket. Not understanding your coverage and fees could lead to you having unexpected bill pop up and wreck your budget.
Have any questions? We’ve got the answers! As advisors our aim is to find a plan that not only are you comfortable with, but covers the parts of Medicare that you’re concerned about. Unlike traditional insurance agents, we are independent agents, which means that we represent dozens of insurance companies across the Untied States. Working with our independent agents can save you both time and money on your supplemental insurance policy.
Don’t wait any longer to enroll in insurance coverage to fit your needs. We can help you find a quality and affordable policy.
We know that dealing with Medicare can be a long and confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be. We can help answer any questions that you have about what you’re paying or why you’re paying it.