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How A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Helps With Your Healthcare Costs

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If you'll soon be enrolling in Medicare, you'll want to understand how it works when you need medical care. Medicare coverage can be more confusing than the healthcare you may be used to, so you may even want to talk to a Medicare representative in person or over the phone before you make your decision on whether to add Medicare supplement insurance, drug coverage, or an Advantage plan.

You may get more mail and see more commercials advertising the Medicare Advantage plans than you do the Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, so you may not know much about Medigap. Here's a look at how these plans compare and the benefits of signing up for a Medigap plan.

Medicare Coverage Options

When you sign up for Medicare, you automatically get Medicare A and B. You can add a policy for part D, which is drug coverage. Part C is known as the Medicare Advantage plan and it's supplied by an insurance company and replaces A and B. Medigap is Medicare part G and it helps pay for costs that Medicare A and B don't.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Helps With Costs

Medicare doesn't pay for everything when you're in the hospital or when you get medical care. You'll have to pay part of your bill, and the costs can add up fast. That's one reason to consider getting supplement insurance. You'll have to pay for the extra insurance, but the cost isn't usually too high, so it could be worth it if you need a lot of medical care. The supplemental insurance helps pay the portion of the bill that you owe.

You Pay The Insurance Company Directly

Once you start getting your Social Security check every month, you can have the cost for Medicare taken out of your check, so you don't have to worry about keeping up with payments. If you get behind on payments, your Medicare B could be canceled, so having the payments taken out automatically may help.

However, Medicare supplement insurance is paid directly to the insurance company where you buy the policy, so you'll have to keep up with paying the fee every month yourself.

Also, the cost of plans can vary as well as what the plans cover. You'll want to go over all of the plans allowed in your area and compare their costs and how well they would benefit you based on your medical history. Keep in mind, the supplemental insurance only covers services paid for by Medicare parts A and B and not drug coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans Differ

There is a difference between Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap. You aren't usually allowed to have both plans at once. Medicare Advantage takes the place of Medicare when you go to the hospital or the doctor's office. The insurance plan pays the hospital and Medicare pays the insurance company. A Medicare Advantage plan might be free for basic coverage but it could cost money for better terms and perks. Some Advantage plans also cover drugs.

An Advantage plan might be good for you if you have health issues and don't mind being in a network. If you plan to travel when you retire, you might prefer the flexibility of a Medicare supplement instead. You'll be able to see any doctor that accepts Medicare when you have a supplement plan.

It's not required to have an Advantage plan or a supplement plan. You can just have plain Medicare if you want. However, once you start using Medicare and understand how it works, you might determine a Medicare supplement insurance plan would help you save money on healthcare costs.

For more information, contact a company such as Active Medicare Solutions.