Medicare parts A and B cover most of the medical needs of seniors, but there are still plenty of gaps in coverage that can quickly deplete your retirement savings. Paying for private insurance to cover those gaps is a smart investment, but only if you choose the right plan. Learn about the limits set on these supplemental plans so you end up with the coverage you want at a price you can afford.
Unlike with most kinds of privately purchased health insurance plans, you can't include your spouse in your Medicare supplement plan. Both of you need separate plans from the same or different companies. This is actually helpful for most couples since their medical needs can differ greatly. For example, you can save money by only paying for skilled nursing coverage for the spouse that is expected to need that kind of service in the next few years due to a chronic illness.
Limited Coverage Items
Each supplemental plan covers its own set of services and medical equipment products, but all of them are prohibited from including certain medical procedures and products. The rules set by the Medicare administrators preventing supplemental plans from covering
- The costs of staying in long-term care facilities like nursing homes
- Medications, which are covered by separate supplemental plans
- Basic renewable medical equipment like eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Some of these things are already covered by basic Medicare A and B. There's no need to pay for private insurance to provide the same benefits you're receiving right now.
When shopping for an insurance supplement, don't forget to check that any potential providers are licensed to operate in your particular home state. Even when you're searching online or through a large marketplace for plans, you need to verify that you're working with a locally licensed agent for the insurance company. If the provider isn't meeting your state's individual regulations regarding insurance, your plan could be canceled at any time or fail to cover your medical costs.
Finally, don't forget you need both Medicare part A and B in order to qualify for any of the many supplemental plans available on the open market. Despite the extra plans being privately paid for by the protected patient, they're still limited in availability because the costs and coverage levels are controlled by the federal government. Controlling enrollment and coverage protects the Medicare patients who really need the help provided by closing the gaps in their health insurance.
For more information, contact a company like Senior Care Insurance Services.