Medicare coverage choices explained
Medicare health coverage is fairly comprehensive. But if
you need a lot of care, Medicare can leave you with significant out-of-pocket
costs. That’s why most people have some kind of supplemental insurance to help
cover the costs that Medicare doesn’t.
a supplemental plan that makes sense for you is not always easy. Here are some
tips that will help.What are the types of
About a third of people with Medicare have supplemental insurance from a former
employer. If you are lucky enough to have this type of coverage, it is probably
your best option. Be careful if you ever decide to drop it – you may not be
able to get it back.
People with low incomes may qualify for their state’s Medicaid program (and other
related programs) that cover Medicare premiums and prescription drug costs.
If you don’t fall into these categories, you may want to consider buying either a
private Medicare supplement plan (often called “Medigap”) or a Medicare
Both options have advantages and disadvantages, and you should
do careful research before selecting one or deciding to change your current
coverage.What are Medigap plans?
Medigap plans work with original Medicare and pay costs that are left over after Medicare has paid what it covers. Depending on the plan, they pay for some amount of Medicare’s deductibles and co-insurance. They do not usually offer additional services, so they will not pay for an item or service that Medicare does not cover. For example, they do not cover prescription drugs, so most people with original Medicare and a Medigap plan also buy a Part D plan.