By Amy De Vore+ | Monday June 20, 2013
Now that our parents are becoming seniors we want to make sure that they are financially secure -we don’t want them spending our inheritance on medical expenses (kidding, sort of). The 3-part series that I have written about our parents turning 65 deals with:
3) Rx Coverage
This is the second installment and it’s all about Medigap. My goal is to dispel any confusion about what Medigap is, and how it works for your parents.
What is Medigap Insurance?
Medigap, also known as a Medicare Supplement Plan, is purchased through a private insurance company, but it works in conjunction with Original Medicare. This all seems like a lot of info, so what does this mean for your parent? All that it means is: Medicare covers the basics, but if your parent were to have a major medical issue, Medicare leaves a lot of gaps open.
This is where Medigap (hence the name, get it now?) kicks in. For instance with Original Medicare if your mother were in the hospital she would pay a deductible for the first 60 days and coinsurance for up to 90 more days, BUT after that Medicare pays nothing. Many people don’t realize that those additional days in the hospital have a lifetime limit of 60 extra days -meaning if she was in the hospital five years apart, she would pay the full amount after 90 days for the second stay.
Now, if your mother has Medigap while hospitalized, not only does Medigap cover the coinsurance, it extends her hospital stay for up to 365, as well as with some Medigap plans the deductible would be covered.
Other Benefits of Medigap Plan F: Most Comprehensive Plan
If your parent likes to travel her health insurance is covered
Part A & B deductible
Part B excess charge
Skilled nursing care
Basically, if your parent had Medigap Plan F, she would have the greatest financial security if an accident or serious illness were to occur.
Sign Up for Medigap When Eligible
There are two reasons for this: 1) Your parent may become ineligible to sign up after the fact; 2) There may be penalties for signing up late. Click here if you’re ready to sign up on the Medigap Overview Page.
Medicare Supplemental Premiums
Depends on the plan, provider, and zip code how much your parent will pay. Although, and this is important to note, all, yes all, Medigap plans must offer the same coverage as its letter counterpart (i.e. All Medigap Plan A’s must match each other). Plan A, being the most basic, should have the lowest monthly premium, Plan F, because it the most comprehensive, should have the highest premium.
There is a sort of secret loophole out there called Medigap Plan F High-Deductible. This secret means your parent would pay less out of pocket each month, have a deductible of a little over 2k, but you have all the coverage that traditional Plan F includes. And that deductible isn’t really all that high when considering what people pay for traditional health insurance deductibles.
Tips About MedigapYour parent needs both Medicare Part A & B to be eligible
Make sure your parents balance the monthly budget premium with available coverage when making a decision
Medigap does not cover prescriptions -a separate plan is necessary
To learn more about Medicare Part A and Part B read the first installment of this series Medicare and Your Parents: Part A & B. And the third installment Medicare Part D, AKA Rx Plans, and Your Parents.
Read the other two installments of this article so that you are in the know to help your parents out. Also find out if Medigap covers dental. If you would like to speak to an agent about specific questions in regards to Medigap for your parents, contact Medicoverage at 800-930-7956.
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