No one likes uncertainty, especially when it comes to money. If you are enrolled in Medicare, you are well aware that Medicare has some gaps in coverage. Medicare is a safety net and is never intended to pay 100% of covered services. The costs shared with the original Medicare include deductibles, copays and outpatient co-insurance. The biggest area of uncertainty is outpatient services. Medicare beneficiaries must pay 20% of medical costs. One of the main reasons people sign up for Medicare Advantage health plans is the predictable cost. With an Advantage plan, you know in advance what your costs will be for the services you provide. Many Advantage plans have standard copays for covered services.
Because today’s retirees tend to be better educated than those of previous generations, they have a better understanding of what Medicare covers and doesn’t cover. They understand the need to plan for the future and the value that a quality Medicare supplement will have when facing health problems. They still have adequate disposable income on average to pay for a high quality Medicare supplement.
Some areas of health reform will have no effect until 2014; even so, there will always be expenses that the major traditional medical plans will never cover. Supplemental insurance protection will always be important for the overall planning of a person’s medical care. Policies on cancer and critical illness will continue to grow in popularity, given the widespread media attention focused on cancer and critical illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.
Can Medicare Advantage plans or prescription drug plans for Medicare Part D help? Most Medicare Advantage plans help with some, but not all, prescription drugs. The same applies to Part D of Medicare, so you don’t need a Part D plan and an Advantage plan. Always check what medications each plan covers. Medicare announced that Medicare Part D plan premiums would remain unchanged in 2012. Premiums still cost about $30 each month. Plans with the lowest monthly premium may not always be the best offer, according to the Avalere study.
CEO of Avalere, Dan Mendelson said: “Older people should look beyond the premium value to understand their benefits with drugs. The more the cost burden is shifted to the patient who needs the drug, the more important it is for older people to understand the next level “.
What about RX coverage?
Again, your options vary. If your health plan has no prescription drug coverage, you can purchase PART D plans that work on their own. Some plans, especially MA HMO and PPO plans, come with RX coverage, so you don’t have to buy another plan.