Medicare Supplement Plans: do I really need one?

If you´re only enrolled on a basic health care plan, more commonly known as the original Medicare plan, you have probably already heard of coinsurance and copayment. You are insured and your health care insurance does pay the bill, however not to its full amount and as a patient you will end up paying the monthly premium of the insurance, as well as a percentage of any bill. For healthy members of this insurance plan, who don´t need to visit the doctor as often, this will be ideal and paying a small percentage of that bill won´t turn out to be a financial problem at all. However, there are patients who are going through a chronic illness or tend to get sick more often and therefore need to visit the doctor many times throughout the year. These are the ones wondering, if there isn´t anything out there to help them lower their costs. A possibility available lays in supplement plans!

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There are some things that the original Medicare insurance won´t cover. One of these is the cost for a blood transfusion. If you need a blood transfusion for whatever medical condition, you will have to pay for the first three pints of blood out of your own pocket. Medicare will start covering the costs for any blood transfusion only after the patient covered the first three pints out of their own pocket. If you are required to stay in the hospital due to a health condition and have a plan A Medicare, you will need to pay a deductible per month of up to 183$. Only after passing this amount, will your Medicare original plan come in. The original plan also requires you to copay for doctor´s visits, prescription drugs, blood tests and X-Rays. Coinsurance is another term you will face when only on an original plan. While copayments are a fixed amount, such as 10-20$ for a doctor´s visit, coinsurance deals with medical expenses that vary in price. In cases of coinsurance, your health care insurance plan will in most cases cover 80% of the costs, while you will have to pay the rest of the 20%.  If you´re often found in the situation of needing any of these services, that require a copayment or coinsurance from your part, getting a supplement plan will be more than necessary to lower your costs.

Does the supplement plan cover everything?

Although supplement plans don´t cover everything, all these extra costs that you need to pay out of your pockets can be avoided. Almost all supplement plans will pay for your coinsurance and copayment costs and the three first pints of blood, saving you money if you need these services often. Eyeglasses, routine dental and vision services, hearing aids and long-term care in nursing homes won´t be covered and getting a supplement plan out of these reasons wouldn´t help you financially. There are other insurance plans that focus on these parts of health care and that would be more suitable for you.