Do I Really Need Supplemental Insurance With Medicare?

Many Americans are surprised to find out that Medicare Part B, which is the U.S. government federal health insurance plan that covers many necessary health care expenses, is not free. As you face the unexpected monthly cost of the Medicare Part B premium and consider how it fits your retirement plans, you may be reluctant to take on another expense with Medicare Supplement insurance, or Medigap, even if you might be interested in purchasing an insurance plan that will enhance your Medicare coverage. Answer the questions below to help determine if buying a Medigap policy from one of the best Medicare Supplement insurance companies is the right choice for your lifestyle.

Do You Regularly Visit the Doctor, ER, or Hospital?

If you expect to have multiple hospital stays each year, to visit your doctor frequently, or to require numerous medical services of any kind, then Medicare Supplement insurance can lessen the financial impact of these medical expenses. After all, Medicare Part A and Part B will help with many medical expenses, but they won’t pay for everything. You can still be left with a lot of out-of-pocket costs after your Medicare benefits through Medicare Parts A and B have been exhausted, but a Medigap plan can help with this.

Can You Afford Expensive Deductibles, Copays, and Coinsurance?

Who is Medicare Supplement insurance for? Anyone who wants to fill the gap between what Original Medicare covers and what you have to pay. For example, Medicare Part B will only pay for 80% of approved services. Therefore, you have to pay 20% of all of these things. These are known as Medicare Part B excess charges.

  • Doctor’s visits
  • ER visits
  • Surgeries
  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Tests such as MRIs and CT scans
  • Durable medical equipment

There is also a Medicare Part A deductible, Medicare Part B deductible and more that you’ll have to pay. When getting care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care center, hospital, doctor’s office, and more, your health care costs can really add up without the help of a Medicare Supplement insurance plan. These added costs for doctor’s office visits, long-term care, nursing facility care and more can really add up during a time of your life when you might be on a limited income.

These additional costs can be a burden on many older Americans. That’s why approximately 1 in 4 Medicare recipients will enroll in a Medigap policy to enhance their benefits through the federal Medicare program. Depending on the Medicare Supplement plan that you choose, you may pay a higher monthly premium for greater coverage (such as Medigap Plan F) or take on more cost sharing for a lower monthly cost for your insurance policy (such as Medigap Plan N).

The right Medicare plan for you might be different from what might be best for others, so it’s key to consider all of your plan options and their basic benefits before signing up.

Do You Love to Travel?

Are you planning to spend your retirement traveling the world? A little jet-setting is common among retirees, but medical issues abroad can turn into a significant expense. Many Medicare Supplement plans will offer limited coverage for emergency care during foreign travel, which Medicare Part A and Part B will not provide. Having this foreign travel emergency coverage can give you peace of mind when you’re enjoying your retirement by traveling around the world.

Are You Already Enrolled in Medicare Advantage?

You cannot register for both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement insurance at the same time. If you are satisfied with your Medicare Advantage policy, then Medigap probably isn’t the right choice for you.

After all, even though Medicare Supplement insurance can help with Medicare deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses, it doesn’t pay for everything that Medicare Advantage health plans pay for. For example, sometimes Medicare Part D prescription drug plans that offer Medicare prescription drug coverage are included in Medicare Advantage plans. Hearing aids, vision care, and dental care are also sometimes included in these plans, but this is not the case with Supplemental insurance.

Would You Like to Keep Seeing Your Regular Doctor?

Are you currently choosing between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans? Much like Medigap, Medicare Advantage offers additional insurance coverage for those with Medicare. Unfortunately, Advantage requires you to stay within an insurance provider’s network of doctors and hospitals. In contrast, Medicare Supplement plans let you visit any medical provider who is approved by Medicare.

Choose the Right Medicare Supplement Policy for Your Needs

Now that you know who needs Medicare Supplement insurance, you can make an educated decision for your lifestyle. If a Medicare Supplement plan is a good choice for you, then you should start thinking about your household budget and the coverage that you need. Buying during the six months of your Initial Open Enrollment Period is best, and our insurance agents can help you out.

Go to our online Medicare Supplement quote tool to find out what different Medicare Supplement policies will cost in your state. Then, give us a call. Our Medigap professionals can guide you through your insurance options and help you choose the right plan for you!

Mark Prip

For more than two decades, Mark Prip at My Medigap Plans has been an authority figure in the insurance industry and continues to uphold a mission to provide customers with comprehensive information about Medicare, life, and dental coverage. In addition, his expertise is unmatched - having helped thousands of Medicare beneficiaries choose suitable healthcare plans for themselves - making him stand out above competitors.