Medicare is essentially your reward for a lifetime of hard work and faithful payments into the system. And it is quite a reward. Everyone qualifies and the coverage is quite generous.
But Medicare alone is not enough for everyone. Particularly late in the year when the open enrollment period comes around, TV commercials bombard people with pitches for Medicare supplement plans. Like many advertisements, these TV spots are heavy on promises and light on information. Hopefully, resources like this blog and this plan detailed can provide some needed clarity when you make this important decision.
Someone once said that “free” and “cash” were the most beautiful four-letter words in the English language. A Medicare supplement plan is never free, but it does generally come with a free trial period. Usually, people who already have a Medicare supplement get thirty days in the new plan to try it out. If it doesn’t work, they can revert to their old plans without penalty.
Many health insurance plans have geographic restrictions. Or, they have such a limited choice of physicians that these restrictions exist for practical purposes. But most Medicare supplement plans are 100 percent portable anywhere in the United States. That’s a significant advantage for people who like to travel.
Valid Outside the United States
If you travel outside the U.S., your Medicare supplement remains valid. Not all supplements are this portable, so pay attention to the fine print.
Choice of Physician
As you travel, or even as you stay at home, you can choose your own doctor with a Medicare supplement. That’s quite important as we age, because few people know you and your family like a long-term physician. In some cases, particularly with Medicare Select, you may be limited to a network of providers.
On a similar note, most insurance companies charge different rates in different states. According to raw statistics, people in some states are healthier than people in other states. But Medicare supplement prices are the same in almost all states. You are more than part of a statistical profile. Only Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin have substantially different pricing plans.
Medicare supplement plans come with lots of choices. People can choose the type of coverage that best fits their needs, as opposed to the coverage the insurance company happens to offer. That also includes add-ons, like prescription drug coverage. Many people need benefits like this one, but not everyone is in the same boat.
There are currently ten different Medicare supplement plans. It’s hard to find that kind of choice anywhere else.
Much like Medicare itself, anyone can get a Medicare supplement if they meet the age and other qualifications. That’s the opposite of many other insurance plans which make older people pay more. Medicare supplements also do not involve health assessments. You qualify even if you have expensive pre-existing conditions. These protections usually only apply during the open enrollment period, so it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity when it rolls around.
If you make your payments, the company cannot cancel your policy for any reason. Furthermore, the company automatically renews your policy every year.
Most people buy Medicare supplement plans to cover out-of-pocket expenses. 80-20 coverage can get very pricey for people with lots of medical expenses. Some plans pay all out-of-pocket Medicare costs and some plans only pay a portion of these expenses. Given the choices available, you can select the plan that’s right for you.
A Medicare supplement makes a sweet reward even sweeter, so reach out to an agent today.