In times when we are more vulnerable, it is good to know that we are, somehow, protected health wise. It gives one a feeling of security knowing that illness or injuries might strike anytime, he will not be caught unprepared especially when it comes to handling medical- and hospital-related expenses. Good thing, there is AARP Medicare Plans for 2018 to provide that health insurance security, especially for those people who may not have the capacity to pay for the cost of medical care and medications.
As a social insurance program by the US federal government, Medicare is designed to provide Americans with health insurance coverage as they reach the age of 65 years and for younger people with particular illness or disability.
The Medicare Program offers a package of benefits which is grouped into four parts. Part A provides medical insurance and helps cover expenses incurred when a beneficiary is admitted in a hospital as an inpatient, in a skilled nursing facility, in a hospice, or even when he is just staying at home but is still receiving health care.
Part B, on the other hand, provides health insurance providing coverage for expenses incurred when a beneficiary receives health care as an outpatient or when he receives preventive health care services.
Medicare Part D is also known as the Prescription Drug Plan as it helps cover the cost of prescription medicines.
When a person becomes eligible for Medicare, he needs to sign up for Part A and Part B. Doing so will give him Original Medicare coverage. For him to have Part D coverage, he needs to sign up for a stand-alone prescription drug plan which may be acquired from private insurance providers.
Another way is by getting Medicare Part C, or the Medicare Advantage Plan, which is also available through insurance companies. It provides both Part A and Part B coverage, and some providers even integrate Part D into their policy offerings.
Though the program may already complete in itself, it still has its shortcomings for not everything is covered by the program. To help cover these holes, a person may avail himself of what is called as Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, or Medigap policy. Just like Medicare Part C and D, it is also offered by private insurance companies accredited by Medicare. It pays a percentage, if not entirely the whole amount, of the remaining expenses after Medicare Parts A and B have paid for their share. Some of the plans even provide additional benefits than those which are already provided for under Original Medicare.
There is a variety of Medigap benefits package labeled as Medicare Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each one has standardized benefits set but may have cost differently depending on the company offering the policy. However, things are different in the states of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin because they were able to standardize their plans differently from what is offered to the rest of the states. Also, insurance companies are not compelled to carry all types of Medigap policies so the plan a person intends to have might not be available through his insurance provider.
Different set of benefits for AARP Medicare Plans for 2018
There are ten kinds of Medigap policies, and each one has an advantage over the others. Some costs lower than the others but offer lesser coverage. Other are more comprehensive than the others but will undoubtedly entail a higher price.
Among the ten Medigap policies, Medicare Plans F, G, and N are the most popular choice among consumers. Medicare Plan F provides the most comprehensive benefits coverage. It will pay for Medicare Part A coinsurance hospital cost up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits have been exhausted; Medicare Part B copayment of coinsurance coverage; first three pints of blood for a medical procedure which needs to be performed for the patient; Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment; skilled nursing facility care coinsurance; Medical Parts A and B deductible and Part B excess charges; 80 percent of foreign travel emergency coverage, depending on the plan limit; and Part B preventive care coinsurance.
Plans G offers everything that is included in Medicare Plan F except for Medicare Part B deductible. On the other hand, Plan N does not provide coverage for Part B deductible and excess charges but does offer the remaining benefits offered by Plan F.
They may be the most comprehensive among all the plans, but they may also be more expensive than the rest of the Medicare Plans.
Take note also that only AARP Medicare Plans for 2018 including Plans F and G cover for Part B excess charges. The excess charges are billed by a doctor or medical practitioner who does not follow Medicare schedule of fees for covered-services. They can legally charge an amount higher than what is prescribed by Medicare and this excess charge is paid by the patient himself if his Medicare Plan does not cover such.
Medicare beneficiaries who frequently travel outside the United States may find Medicare
Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N beneficial for them as it offers up to 80 percent coverage on the cost of foreign travel emergency care, depending on the plan limits.
The good thing is that all Medigap plans will pay for Medicare Part B preventive care coinsurance.
Enrollment for AARP Medicare Plans for 2018
The best time to sign up for a Medigap policy is during the Open Enrollment Period. This lasts for 6 months beginning on the first day of the month when a person is already 65 years old and has already enrolled himself under Medicare Part B. During this period; insurance companies cannot deny enrollment under Medigap policies, provided that the person applying for one is already eligible to have one. They may not also charge a higher insurance cost because of the enrollee’s poor health condition.
If the person, on the other hand, decides to enroll under a Medigap policy after the Open Enrollment Period, the insurance company is now allowed to refuse his application, or he may be subjected to insurance underwriting.