A Medigap Policy for Peace of Mind
Healthcare costs are constantly increasing as the population ages and many of the lower income families are unable to afford insurance. The care of the uninsured falls to the medical facilities but despite government assistance if is often passed back to the end user through increases in taxes, insurance premiums and cost of treatments. The cost of healthcare is rising faster than inflation, often leaving Medicare patients with a large bill to settle which is not covered by the program; this is where Medigap insurance policies comes (our guide explains it all) in to play.
All citizens of the USA and residents of longer than 5 years are eligible for some form of Medicare coverage, but the level depends on previous work history, any disability and whether the spouse as also paid contributions previously. There are some cases where premiums must still be paid to qualify for even basic hospital treatments and medicines.
Medical assistance for out-patient services are covered by an optional premium or Part B, which also includes long term treatments, vaccinations and diagnostic tests. The rules for management of the payments under Medicare supplemental plans are extremely complex and often vary from State to State and even across counties as they are open to a certain amount of interpretation by the provider.
Medigap policies offer a way for seniors to ensure that all their medical bills are paid even if they include items which are not eligible under the government insurers. They are run by private companies and give a range of options to suit the need of the individual. There are a large number of people who are opting to take this extra cover to ensure peace of mind in their later years.
In order to obtain an additional policy, the insured must be already registered for both the standard and optional Medicare plans which is much different then life insurance for seniors and Medicare recipients. Those who choose not to pay the additional government premium will not find it possible to extend their cover any further without enrolling in Part B.
There are some companies who will sell policies without the need for a medical or a doctors report. Others may require a physicians statement or a physical examination prior to accepting the client. The insurance is all provided by private companies and not regulated by the government, so rules vary widely from state to state.
The level of payout and items covered also varies depending on the company, the premiums and when the policy was bought. Drugs are now covered by Medicare part D and this page goes over it, but previously could be included in a private policy. Holders of a policy which includes prescription medications had the option to switch to a policy without such cover, but in some areas the benefits provided by the private insurers are better than those offered by Part D and may be retained.
Since 2010 the regulations controlling Medigap Insurance have reduced he options for seniors wishing to upgrade their coverage, but have helped to standardize the offerings. The complexity of the entire healthcare system and the services which are covered by the various Medicare upgrades make for difficult choices, but it is important to decide which plans are appropriate and ensure that you are fully covered for any medical treatments.