Did you know that Medicare coverage in 2018 will give you numerous choices? You aren’t stuck with just one plan or even one price for a plan. You have options, and you should be aware of what those are before you make a decision on medical coverage for you for 2018.
What Medicare’s Basic Plan Includes
Usually, when people are talking about the basic Medicare plan, they mean Medicare parts A and B. But Part B of Medicare is optional, and you can just go with Part A, if you wish. You should know what each part covers before you decide, however.
Part A will give you coverage for your hospital costs. These include expenses like hospice care, skilled nursing care and home health services. These are just basic costs that you accrue by going to the hospital. The best thing about this plan is that it won’t cost you much. You don’t pay a monthly fee for it, and the deductible is usually quite affordable. The cost of this plan is based on your income bracket.
Part B covers other medical costs, including many doctor services, some medical tests and ambulance services. This part of Medicare does have a monthly cost as well as an annual deductible. While you don’t have to have Part B, you will probably see it as indispensable, if you are like most people.
Adding to Medicare
You may find that these parts of Medicare don’t give you all the coverage you need. If that is the case, then you can look into other plans to add some coverage onto it. Part D is the most common addition for Medicare subscribers. This takes care of a lot of the costs of prescription drugs. It is also included in other plans, so you have to watch for redundancies, as you may have to drop a plan when you add another one on.
All the parts of Medicare and plans mentioned so far- A, B and D- are sold through Medicare alone. That means there is one set price for them. Now depending on your income bracket, you may pay a different price than someone else would, but your individual cost is set, and there isn’t any way to make it cheaper.
You can also add to Medicare with a supplement plan. These include Medigap, Medicaid and others that work with the basic Medicare parts A and B. The most common ones available are the Medigap plans. Just about any other type of supplemental plans requires that you meet special requirements to be eligible for them. But for Medigap plans, as long as you are eligible for Medicare, you are eligible for these supplement plans.
Medicare has designed ten different Medigap plans. The reason that there are so many is that they are all offering slightly different supplementary coverage. They all cover, to some degree, the same basic supplementary items. These are deductibles for Medicare parts A and B, copayments for the same, excess charges for Part B, emergency medical care for outside the US, more blood on an annual basis, nursing care and hospice care.
Now some of these coverage items seem the same as basic Medicare coverage for 2018 offered in Medicare parts A and B, but they really only provide more coverage for those items that the basic parts only cover partially. There is no actual overlap.
You can also forgo the basic Medicare plan and just get a Medicare Part C plan. This is often called an Advantage plan, and it can take the place of Medicare parts A and B. Not only does it include all the coverage of those basic parts, but it also comes with more coverage. It works similarly to the way a plan would work if it included Medicare parts A, B, D and a supplement plan. Depending on the Advantage plan you choose, you can get all of Part D coverage as well.
Advantage plans are sold exclusively through private insurance providers and not Medicare. Like supplemental plans, you can pay a variety of rates for the same plan with the same coverage, so you want to be careful about how much you are paying and look for the lowest price you can.
You also need to be aware that with Advantage plans there are some variations on the plans available. Some will give you coverage only at hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities that are part of the insurance provider’s network. Others will give you partial coverage anywhere and full coverage at the on-network locations.
The Choice Is Yours
As you can see, there are tons of choices available to you. You can get your plan from Medicare or go to a private insurance company and pay one of dozens of different rates. Your choice should be the result of a lot of searching and comparing. For prices, you can use our site to find the best rate.
We have a free service on our site that checks and compares rates for you. It works like this- you tell us what plan you want to find rates for; then we will get you a few quotes for that Medicare plan. It can be any plan from a private insurance company; so any Advantage plans and Medicare supplement plans are available for you to search for. We will send your request to our network of insurance companies.
We only search for quotes from insurance companies that are offering the same plan you are looking for and that sell the plan in your local area. The rates are always freshly sourced too, so you never get out-of-date information. You can come back and check with us to see how the rates are changing too. We won’t charge you for this service, so feel free to use it often. We will make it easy for you to find the best rates on Medicare coverage for 2018 and beyond.