People who think they are fully covered with Medicare are in for a major shock in the event of a medical issue. Part A is available at no cost for those who meet eligibility requirements, but there are high out-of-packet costs for every hospital stay. One cost is the deductible that must be met before Medicare begins. This is not an annual deductible, it applies to every benefit period.
A benefit period begins with admission into a hospital, skilled care nursing home, or hospice center and ends upon release. Under this definition, it is possible to be responsible for more than one deductible during the year. At $1,340 each, these deductibles will add up fast. In addition to deductibles, patients have other financial responsibilities depending on the length of stay.
After the deductible is met, the first sixty days of a hospital stay is covered at one-hundred percent. Beginning at day sixty-one, the patient has a copayment of over three-hundred dollars per day. This situation gets worse because if the stay extends past ninety days, that doubles to over six-hundred dollars per day. No one on a fixed income can sustain expenses that high.
Parts B and D
B covers outpatient expenses and D is the prescription drug insurance. Both are elective, which means there is a monthly premium cost, plus deductibles, plus copays, plus the omission of certain services or medications. One more thing to keep in mind is a penalty occurs when qualified people do not sign up for either of these two parts.
What to Do
Private insurance plans are available for medicare supplement purposes. These plans are standardized in terms of what they cover, but they are set in terms of pricing. As with any other type of private insurance, premiums, copays, and deductibles vary between companies. Plans are identified using letters A through N.
Selecting a plan that suits needs and budgets is a challenge. A side-by-side comparison of prices and benefits is helpful. Medicare participants can view GoMedigap for details on dozens of plans from top insurance carriers. This company will also enroll people in the plans of their choosing.
Areas Medicare Does Not Cover
There are no Parts in the Medicare system that cover dental, vision, or hearing services or correction devices. Unless a separate policy is purchased, those dentures will be completely out-of-pocket. No death benefits exist through Medicare either so a separate life insurance policy is wise. Learn more at GoMedigap and consider reducing put-of-pocket expenses with supplemental insurance plans.