Supplemental Insurance

“My aunt’s always on the phone with her insurance company complaining about getting the runaround when they don’t cover something.”

 

So, the problem of Medicare lies in that even if it pays for many healthcare services and supplies, it does not cover everything. Things like co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles are left to the patient and these bills can become fairly costly and unaffordable. This is where Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also known as Medigap, comes in. Medigap takes care of the bills that Medicare does not cover, kind of like a net to catching anything extra. It is offered by private insurance companies, and is far less costly than a full insurance plan. To get it, you have to be enrolled in Original Medicare due to the fact that it is not a stand alone insurance. Thus, to be eligible, you have to be 65 years or older and have Medicare plan parts A and B (Hospital and Medical Insurance) though you do not necessarily need C and D (Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Coverage). Once you get Medigap, all you have to do is pay the insurance company a monthly premium along with any part B premium that you may have to pay with Medicare.

Nonetheless, even if it is made to catch leftover costs from Medicare, Medigap does not take care of everything, For instance, Medigap policies in general do not include long-term care, vision or dental care, private-duty nursing and hearing aids. Since Bernadette’s illness is permanent and affects her motor functions, the fact that Medigap does not cover long-term care or private-duty nursing can be detrimental to her health. Thus, if her doctor recommends either of these healthcare services, she will have to pay for them out of her own pocket or not receive them at all.

 

Sources:

Cross, Jory . "Medicare Supplement Plans Overview ." Medicare Information, Help, and Plan Enrollment - Medicare.com. January 13, 2017. https://medicare.com/medicare-supplement/what-is-medicare-supplemental-insurance/.

"What's Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?" Medicare.gov - the Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare. https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/medigap/whats-medigap.html.