Nowadays, being and feeling secured when it comes to health is a good thing to have. It is especially helpful in time of unexpected expenses brought about by illness or disability. Medicare Plan G in 2018 is a good choice for Medicare Supplement Insurance that will provide extra health coverage from what was initially offered by the Medicare program.
The Medicare Program
Americans who are 65 years old and above are provided with health insurance coverage in the form of the Medicare program run by the US federal government. Younger people who have certain medical conditions are also entitled to the coverage of the program, following specific guidelines under the Medicare program.
The health insurance coverage under Medicare is divided among four parts. The hospital insurance is provided under Medicare Part A. This section covers health care services for beneficiaries who are admitted and treated in a hospital as an in-patient. On the other hand, Part B helps cover for the cost of outpatient health care services received by the program enrollee. Parts A and B comprise what is called as the Original Medicare.
Part C, also known as the Medicare Advantage Plan, is usually offered by private insurance companies, in accordance with the prescribed guidelines by Medicare. It provides Parts A and B coverage, with the addition of Medicare Part D, or what is also called as Medicare Prescription Drug plan.
There are two ways to get Medicare coverage. One is through enrollment in the Original Medicare, and the other one is through Medicare Advantage Plan. If a person has the Original Medicare, he can get a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan to help cover the cost of prescription drugs. Though Part D is optional, it is still recommended for a person who has Medicare to sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug plan, even if he is not yet taking any medications at the moment.
Though the Original Medicare provides coverage for the cost of health care services and supplies, it does not pay for everything. This is where Medicare Supplement Insurance fills the gap.
Otherwise known as Medigap, these health care policies help pay for some of the remaining things to be paid for, in relation to the Medicare coverage, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Aside from these, Medigap also offers additional health care coverage not included in the Original Medicare such as medical care when traveling outside the United States.
There is a wide variety of Medigap policies offered across the United States, and beneficiaries can choose from Medicare Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Standardized following federal and state laws, these health care policies offer the same set of primary benefits, but some provides more than the other. A person has the option to choose which among the Medigap plans the best suit his needs. Different plans also cost differently.
Among all the Medigap plans, this article will close in on the coverage provided by Medicare Plan G.
Medicare Plan G for 2018
Medicare Plan G in 2018 offers a broader health care coverage as compared to all the other plans. It is almost as comprehensive as Plan F, except that those who chose Medicare Plan G will have to pay for the Medicare Part B deductible out of their own pockets.
Just like a basic Medigap plan, Medicare Plan G helps those who are covered under Original Medicare in paying for certain out-of-pocket expenses. Aside from that, Plan G also offers Medicare Part A inpatient coinsurance and hospital costs for up to 365 days after the Original Medicare benefits have been exhausted.
It also pays for hospice care coinsurance or copayment amounts not covered by Medicare Part A and for up to three pints of blood.
Those who usually travel outside the United States will find Medicare Plan G useful as it also covers 80 percent of the approved cost of the emergency medical care, depending on the plan limit, if ever they will need one.
Excess charges billed by doctors or other health-care providers who do not accept Medicare assignments are also paid for by Medicare Plan G for as long as procedure or service provided is covered by Medicare program.
Medicare Plan G will also take care of coordinating payments to health care providers to minimize the hassle of processing paper works and medical claims for the enrollee.
It is important to note, though, that there is still a need for a Medicare Plan G enrollee to pay for Medicare Part B deductible for outpatient services before it starts paying its share for the costs of the covered services. In general, Medicare will pay for 80 percent of the cost of outpatient services while Medicare Plan G will pay for the remaining 20 percent.
Remember also that Medicare Part B will cover 100 percent of the costs of specific preventive care services such as the flu shots or the annual wellness visits.
Signing up for Medicare Plan G
Not all private health insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans offer Medicare Plan G, so there is a need to check whether this is being provided in the area where the interested person lives. Although the set of benefits offered are standardized, different insurance providers may charge differently for the same plan. Aside from checking the areas where Plan G is provided, it is also essential to compare prices of the Medicare Plan G to get the best value.
Enrolling under Medicare Plan G should be done during the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period which begins when a person is aged 65 years old or older and has already signed up for Medicare Part B. This period lasts up to six months, and during this time, insurance companies are not allowed to deny any enrollees of coverage or charge them higher because of their current health conditions. However, the companies will have to consider an enrollee’s medical condition and subject him to medical underwriting if he decides to enroll in Medicare Plan G for 2018 after the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period has lapsed.