Americans should be thankful for the affordable coverage that Medicare provides. While it’s a great plan for enrollees, there are a lot of applicants that want more coverage. There are several coverage holes left in the Medicare Parts A and B that could leave you with bills that you have to pay for out-of-pocket. These expenses can quickly drain a retirement savings account.
One way that you can protect yourself and your bank account for expensive medical and health care costs is to purchase additional health care coverage to go with your basic Medicare plan. There are several different options for additional coverage, and one of the common choices is a Medicare SELECT plan. These plans often get confused with other forms of supplemental insurance like Medicare Advantage plans or prescription drug plans.
What Is a Medicare SELECT Plan?
Medicare SELECT plans are another form of supplemental coverage that allows you to fill in some of the coverage gaps that are left behind by Medicare, but there are a few notable differences between these plans and other forms of supplemental coverage.
One of the key differences that applicants should be aware of is that SELECT plans have networks that they operate inside of, unlike traditional Medigap plan. With a Medigap plan, any provider that accepts Medicare will accept the Medigap plan, but that isn’t true with these SELECT policies.
With a SELECT plan, you’ll have to find physicians and centers that are in-network of your plan. If you go outside of the approved network, the plan isn’t going to pay for any of the products or services that you received, which means you could be left with some massive bills.
One of the advantages of these plans is that they tend to be more affordable than Medigap policies because they only operate inside of the approved network. If you’re looking to save money on additional coverage, these SELECT plans can keep more money in your pocket without sacrificing additional coverage.
These plans aren’t nearly as popular as Medigap plans, in fact, only around 1 in 10 people with extra insurance is a SELECT plan. There are several different reasons for that, but mostly because applicants enjoy having the freedom of choosing any health provider without being restricted.
The Importance of a SELECT Plan
Every year countless Medicare participants encounter unexpected medical bills or need services that they had not planned for, which can strain their finances. These bills can wreck a retirement dream, and make it a retirement nightmare, but there are plenty of ways to protect yourself against that.
One thing to know is the exceptions to the network system of the SELECT policy. IF you need medical services as an emergency, your SELECT plan will cover the expenses that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. If it’s a non-emergency, and you go outside of the network, you’ll have to cover the remaining 20% the Medicare doesn’t cover out-of-pocket. Depending on the services that you received, you could be responsible for thousand sand thousands of dollars.
What Do SELECT Plans Cover?
The coverage for the plans depending on which type of plan that you choose. Depending on what state you live in, and the provider that you choose, that could be different plans available. Each company isn’t required to sell every SELECT plan. They may off SELECT Plan F, but not the other SELECT plans.
Just like with Medigap plans, the coverage varies greatly depending on the plan that you choose. You can choose a basic plan like a SELECT Plan A or a more inclusive plan like a SELECT Plan F. There are several different factors that you’ll have to consider when you’re trying to decide which one is going to work best for you.
Is a SELECT Plan Right For Me?
There are some questions that you can ask yourself to determine if one of these SELECT plans are right for your and your health care needs. The first question is, do you plan to travel a lot or spend time at a vacation home or with your family in another state? This is something that you have to be aware of because of the networks of the SELECT plans. If you plan on doing a lot of traveling or living between two separate residencies, you may want to consider a traditional Medigap plan that doesn’t have a network of approved location.
Another factor that you need to consider is your health and your future. This rule applies if you’re looking to get any supplemental insurance coverage. If you’re in poor health, or you have pre-existing health conditions, you could be looking at massive medical fees in the future. The best way to prepare for those bills is to have a supplemental insurance policy like a SELECT plan.
Another aspect of accounting for is your finances. Can you fit supplemental coverage into your budget? If so, how much additional coverage can you afford to have in your policy? The goal of this supplemental insurance is to protect your budget, but if you can’t afford that coverage, then you need to ensure that it doesn’t stretch your finances too thin.
When To Apply For a SELECT Plan?
There is a vital window to be aware of if you plan on purchasing one of these insurance policies for your health care needs. After you enroll into Medicare Part B, you’ll have a six-month window known as your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is the first time you should apply for a plan because you have a few advantages. One is you cannot be denied coverage because of previous or current health issues, and the other is your premium will be the same as everyone else.
We don’t like to repeat ourselves, but it is important to take advantage of the opportunity that OEP has. For candidates with health conditions this is your once chance to ave money for extra coverage.
The older that we get, the more we can expect to pay in hospital fees and medical bills. You’re excited for retirement, these health care expenses shouldn’t ruin it. Understand how supplemental plans can keep you from breaking the bank.
If you have any questions about a Medicare SELECT plan or any of the Medigap plans, we can help you compare the rates from dozens of different Medigap supplemental insurance companies in matter of minutes and get you the lowest rates for your coverage.
We know that navigating the healthcare field can be difficult and confusing, but we are here to help you. Not having proper insurance can have devastating consequences.