As soon as you become eligible for Medicare coverage, you are in a good position to receive financial support for various healthcare and medical needs – from inpatient hospital stays through to outpatient medical services, doctor’s visits and appointments, and even prescription drugs. However, a lot of this depends on which plans you sign up for- with virtually no Medicare insurance policy providing complete financial coverage for overall eventualities.
When it comes to financial support, the general understanding is that Medicare will cover 80% of the eligible expenses, leaving the remaining 20% down to the beneficiary. On top of that, some of the Medicare plans include copayment and coinsurance as well as deductibles – meaning that at the end of the day, you may not be as financially covered as you hoped.
That’s where Medicare supplements come in – otherwise known as Medigap – designed to provide policies that fill in the gaps and provide a more comprehensive cover level, no matter how severe your healthcare needs.
Medicare Part A - the Role of Medigap
If you have Part A coverage as part of your Medicare insurance, you will be aware that a hospital stay up to 60 days will be covered by your Medicare once the hospital deductible has been met. At the end of those 60 days, you will be expected to start paying a premium, and when you reach 90 days, this will increase again.
In essence, Medicare Supplements lengthen that coverage up to 150 days. From day 151 onwards, you can still receive protection; however, this will start to be deducted from your lifetime coverage. The amount you will pay for this extra coverage varies depending on the Medicare Supplements plan you opt for. Medigap (Medicare Supplements) can also be used to cover:
- The cost of coinsurance for palliative care and respite care in a hospice setting
- Hospital deductible which is expected before Medicare kicks in
Medicare Plan B - the Role of Medigap
As with Part A, Medicare supplements can also be hugely beneficial in light of Part B, covering 20% of all medical treatment bills which are not covered by standard Part B Medicare coverage. This means that beneficiaries are not slapped with a bill at the end of their treatment and can instead benefit from complete support even with their Medicare plan only covering the first 80% of costs.
Medicare Supplements Uncovered
Medicare is a program designed to support eligible individuals with access to the healthcare and medical treatment they need – however, not every plan and package provides the complete and comprehensive coverage needed by beneficiaries. For those needing additional support, Medicare supplements like Medigap exist to fill those holes and deliver all-around financial support.