Medicare, the federal medical assistance program, along with supplemental insurance plans have helped make health care more affordable for millions of Americans over the years. However, as the costs of Medicare and the supplemental insurance plans have become higher in recent years, more seniors are choosing not to purchase coverage. The effects of this trend can be seen in the rising number of people without Medicare. Even those who are still covered by a Medicare policy are often not covered by a supplemental insurance plan due to rising health care costs.
There are several possible reasons why more seniors are foregoing their medicare supplement insurance plans in recent times. Some of these reasons are simply economic. With rising health care costs and reduced salaries, families are simply unable to afford their medications. Many seniors have jobs that offer limited benefits or none at all. As well, Medicare does not currently allow individuals to purchase private insurance plans, such as dental, vision, or hospitalization insurance. These expensive health care items are deemed necessary under the terms of the original Medicare program.
Another possible explanation is the rising cost of prescription medications. As more people suffer from medication-related problems including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes, the cost of prescription drugs has skyrocketed in recent years. When combined with the costs of Medicare and supplemental insurance, prescription drug costs can quickly cripple any budget.
Because many seniors have difficulty affording the high costs of prescription drugs, they are turning to supplemental insurance plans to fill the gaps in their Medicare coverage. However, even with supplemental plans, there are usually restrictions placed on the types of treatments a person can use.
One reason that more seniors are now turning to HMOs (health maintenance organizations) and PPOs (preferred provider organizations) for their health care needs is because they provide lesser health care costs. A typical HMO plan provides coverages for medical care visits, doctor visits, preventive care, and pharmaceutical drugs. A PPO policy gives the insured the freedom to choose the medical professionals and physicians they prefer as well as the types of medical procedures they elect to undergo.
Medicare Supplement plans 2022 are available in both the United States and Canada. If you are considering purchasing one of these plans it is important to shop around to find the best price. Although most are similar in cost, there are significant differences in the service coverage provided. For instance, some Medigap policies will only cover the first $500 of one’s expenses while others will cover everything needed to maintain one’s health. It is also important to remember that all policies are based upon your health history and will change over time.
Regardless of the type of supplemental insurance one chooses, it is vitally important that the policy is in place before one falls ill. Even if the illness was caught early on, without the appropriate coverages, a person could suddenly find thousands of dollars in debt. Fortunately, there are many options available. In addition to using one of the many companies that offer Medigap coverage, individuals can also purchase their policies from an insurance agent or through independent brokers. No matter what type of policy one purchases, Medigap policies are a necessary investment into one’s health care.