To know what is better to have just Medicare or Medicare supplement plans (Medigap), we first need to know what exactly these both programs are and what they offer in actual.
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a fully funded program by the US government to help citizens by taking care of all the medical expenses, this program is especially for the ones who are 65 of age and older. It also includes young children with physical or mental disabilities. This health insurance is very helpful for American citizens as it cuts of their health care expenses and declining of income.
Medicare program offers a lot of plans to choose from, for eligible citizens. These are:
- The out-patient care. Which includes the expenses of medical equipment such as wheelchair and also the expenses of clinical visits, laboratory tests, X-rays, ultrasounds and expenses of medicines.
- In-patient care which includes the hospital stays and charges of nurse for home care etc.
- Other plan includes any additional services required according to an individual’s need.
Though the Government Medicare program is useful to a limited extent, there are more beneficial programs available and offered by private insurance companies which covers more expenses than the Medicare program. This program is called Medicare supplement plan or Medigap.
What Is Medicare Supplement Plan?
Medicare supplement plan as Medicare is offered to citizens older than 65 of age and disabled young children but this time offered by a private insurance company. Medicare supplement plan covers more expenses then Medicare originally does the reason people choose to go for this plan. To have Medigap the individual first needs to be first enrolled in Medicare.
The expenses that Medicare supplement plan pays for are:
- Medicare Plan A’s Copayments and Coinsurance
- Medicare Plan B’s Copayments and Coinsurance
- Medicare Plan C’s Copayments and Coinsurance
- Hospital Stays
- Yearly deductibles
It may also cover the expenses of overseas travel for medical purposes which Medicare does not cover.
The benefits of a Medicare supplement plan varies depending on the company and the plan you choose. Some companies may also provide the service of out of pocket limit.
The main reason for using Medicare supplement plan is to totally cut your health issues expenses for the whole year. For example, if for your treatment Medicare only provides 80% expenses then the remaining 20% will be provided by Medicare supplement plan.
As Medicare has some disadvantages of not providing all the services, Medigap also offers limited services and cannot be used for all medicinal conditions and treatments.
- Medigap cannot be used for regular dental checkups and routine vision tests
- It does not include the expenses of equipment like hearing aids and eyeglasses
- It will not pay the salaries of private-duty nurses
- Drugs expenses are not included as well in Medigap. For drugs, Medicare Prescription Drug plans have to be taken
- Long-term care such as the cost and charges of nursing homes are not included in Medigap
Overall, it is better to take Medicare supplement plans together with original Medicare provided by the government. An individual should choose the plan carefully according to their needs, considering their medical history and background to save a lot of money from their income which can be spent on something else more important.