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April 25, 2016

Best Medicare Health Insurance Plans For You

Best Medicare Health Insurance Plans For You

In one way, senior citizens are very lucky. They have a lot of choices about how they will cover their health care. On the other hand, the different types of Medicare which range from A to D, and the different levels of Medicare supplements, which range from A to L, can bring a virtual alphabet of complexities to that choice.

You must understand that I do not believe there is one right health insurance plan for everybody. Medicare beneficiaries, like everybody else, have different needs. A person has to consider their choices, while also looking at their own health situation, budget, expectations, and the available plans in their area.

First look at original Medicare, a program that has been around for almost 50 years. Nowadays, retired and disabled people consider it a right, but when it began it caused as much debate as health insurance reform does today.

It consists of two basic parts: A and B. Part A is called hospital insurance, though it covers some other things. Most seniors qualify for Part A without having to pay a premium. Part B, on the other hand, is sometimes called the medical insurance part. It provides coverage for many outpatient services, not least of which, are regular doctor’s visits.

Both parts of the original plan require the enrolled person to pay of their medical bills. You will find deductibles, copays, and limits. So the original plan was not intended to pay 100% of medical bills, but it was intended to help seniors control their medical costs.

Medicare Part C is now called Medicare Advantage. These are plans that private insurers get approved by the government, and that are supposed to provide more comprehensive care than the original plan. Sometimes they require an additional premium, but some do not. Some Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans will even rebate all, or part of, the enrollees Part B premium.

These plans may also include deductibles and copays that the enrollee must pay out of their own pocket, but they will also have a yearly limit on out of pocket expenses. They must provide service that is equal to the original part A and part B, and of course, they should be better.

Medicare Part D is the newest plan, and it was developed to cover prescriptions. Like other plans, it does not cover 100% of medical expenses, but it should help enrollees reduce their costs. Some plans are sold as stand-alone insurance, while some are bundled with MA plans.

Medicare supplements are different than Medicare Advantage plans, and they should not be confused. They will come with a monthly premium, and that amount will depend upon the applicant’s zip code, age, plan level, and other factors. There are certain times when seniors and disabled people can enroll without having to go through an underwriting process, but not all of the time.

So you can see that seniors have many options. There are hundreds of combinations of different health and prescription plans. The right choice will depend upon a person’s own individual situation.

An article by Marilyn Katz

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