Health comes before everything else. You owe it to yourself to look after your body and mind. We all get a little concerned about health from time to time, so it makes perfect sense to have a good backup plan. Medicare supplement insurance is something that you might look at as this gives the extra peace of mind so that you can sit back and not have to worry about any unexpected costs.
It is basically an additional plan which is designed to supplement Original Medicare; it is also known as Medigap and may be purchased by anyone enrolled in Medicare.
It is not something that you would want to rush into, as it is very important to get the precise plan that suits not only your current but also your future needs – such as long-term care or possible long-term hospitalization. You can never accurately predict the future, so you have to plan as carefully and thoroughly as possible so that you get it right.
Bear in mind that you may wish to take professional advice. And do involve your close relatives, such as your children as they may have some useful input as to what extra care may be needed, based on how much they can assist you in times of need.
Knowledge About Medicare Supplement Plans
But what is it all about? Here are ten things that you need to know:
- Medicare supplement insurance is for those over 65’s
- Basically, it covers the gaps in your original Medicare cover
- The costs and coverage of cover varies state to state
- You can pay monthly
- Medicare supplemental plans cover only one person. So, if you have a spouse you will need to buy a separate policy
- All plans cover the same basic benefits, but you can extend policies to cover overseas travel
- You can only buy a plan from an insurance company, in your state, that’s licensed to sell one.
- Check your cover very carefully. The likes of long-term nursing care and private duty nursing are not generally covered
- A standard policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems, as long as you pay your premium
- Plans vary in price, according to what you wish to include. Be sure to check that you have an adequate level of cover
Applying for a Medicare Supplemental Plan
The perfect time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, to ensure guaranteed acceptance, is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period. For your information, it commences on the first day of the month when you both reach the age of 65 and are, of course, registered in Medicare Part B. Take note that some states have additional Open Enrollment periods and can also have Guaranteed Issue requirements,
Be sure not to apply outside the Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue periods, otherwise, you may not be accepted due to any health issues or your medical history, The states of Connecticut and New York have different laws which dictate that Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed to be available since Open Enrollment and Guaranteed Issue are ongoing.
Before you apply, you need to make sure that you have a detailed record of your health history since this will play a part in getting a quote that is suitable to you and sufficiently adequate to cater to your requirements.
It is worth obtaining a copy of your health records so that you do not miss anything.
What do health records include?
Your health records
- name, age, and address.
- health conditions.
- treatments and medicines.
- allergies and past reactions to medicines.
- tests, scans, and X-ray results.
- specialist care, such as maternity or mental health.
- lifestyle information, such as whether you smoke or drink.
- hospital admission and discharge information.
Check your records very carefully and add in anything that appears to be missing.
If you provide incorrect information, as with any insurance policy, you may find that this compromises any claim that you may make. Check and double-check to make sure that you have got it right.
Also, bear in mind that should anything change with regards to your health, it will, of course, be your duty to notify the insurer, otherwise, again, you may invalidate your plan.
Do your research and choose your service provider carefully!
There are many companies offering these services and the choice can be overwhelming. Do not focus on the cheapest policy as that may be a false economy. Look at reviews and recommendations and run a mile if you encounter pushy salespeople! Remember, the industry is heavily regulated and you would expect to encounter professional advisors who are not focused entirely on commission. They must give you correct advice based on your circumstances and not sell you anything that you do not need or is unsuitable. If you do find that you encounter anyone who oversteps the mark, be sure to contact their Trade Body and file a complaint.
Finally, take your time before you choose. Speak to a few insurers and draw a shortlist to help you decide on the correct company. Don’t rush. Get it right.