Medicare Parts A and B have an ever-expanding problem with potentially dire coverage gaps. So what happens to those patients who have conditions which fall into those gaps? They end up paying out of pocket, and the prices can be completely unattainable. When considering any senior with even one chronic condition, let alone more, it isn’t just a war for extra spending money. These insurance gaps can cost people what they have worked for over an entire lifetime of labor. And as a citizen of Colorado, you have an additional set of things to consider when picking the most effective policy.
Senior Medicare in Aurora: Facts and Figures
- There are 39,281 senior citizens living in Aurora right now
- There 10 hospitals in the Aurora area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care
- 37% of Colorado seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan
- 17% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan
- Which leaves 46% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
Becoming more vulnerable to disease is part of aging. It happens to everyone. And worse, most of the diseases we become more vulnerable to are chronic and will require treatment for the rest of our lives. This only makes medical costs even worse. Also, it is entirely possible that we will have more than one major disease at the same time, compounding difficulties and expenses. The chart below outlines the prevalence of the most common chronic diseases plaguing seniors in Aurora:
|Disease||Prevalence (in Aurora)|
|High Blood Pressure||27%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||5%|
Healthcare Costs in Aurora, CO
Of course, it is vital to understand how expensive these diseases are to treat. Prescriptions, medical equipment, in- and out-patient care, doctor appointments; it all adds up. Not to mention, all medical costs in general are on the rise every year. A doctor’s appointment today is more expensive than the same doctor’s appointment at the same office with the same doctor this time last year. The upside is, thanks to advancing medicine, seniors are living longer. But they’re also incurring more and more medical debt. This means it is more important now than ever before to ensure your coverage is up to snuff going into your senior years.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Aurora)||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||27%||$354|
|Coronary Heart Disease||5%||$7,774|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Aurora, CO
There are some private insurance plans which are approved by the government, and yet not government provided, that are specifically for seniors who are currently enrolled in Medicare. Insurance costs aren’t paid directly by the government, but rather redirected to Medicare Advantage. The government pays their portion of the monthly premium, and the patient pays the rest. In many cases, Medicare Advantage plans are available starting at $0 a month. These plans are required legally to offer at least the same as Original Medicare Part A and B. The majority of insurers offering these sorts of plans also have dental and vision coverages available as well.
Medicare Advantage plans offer better coverage for the needs of seniors with these common chronic illnesses, according to the statements of those seniors themselves. Every illness, but especially those that are long-term and near the end of life, requires consistent management to alleviate symptoms and ensure a good quality of life. This can include prescriptions, testing items, frequent doctor visits, and more. As these conditions worsen, costs still continue to increase. Fortunately, there are Medicare Advantage plans which can cover even more than a Traditional Medicare plan, even when said Medicare plan includes extras like Part D. To be ready for your remaining future, you have to prepare beforehand with Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage can cover even more than Original Medicare Parts A and B. Doctor visits, testing equipment, and drug plans are options as well. Many plans allow the option to add vision or dental coverage for additional premium costs. Thanks to the government paying some or potentially all of the premium, seniors can get a fully comprehensive Medicare Advantage plan starting as low as $0 a month out-of-pocket for premium cost. There will still be certain items that insurance doesn’t cover, like copays or coinsurance, which will be the responsibility of the plan holder.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Aurora, CO
Medigap policies (additional Medicare supplement policies, which go by the nickname Medigap) have distinct differences from Medicare Advantage, but they can still save you plenty of money. This applies especially to the costly gaps in Medicare Part A. Hospital visits from coronary heart disease or kidney disease can end up totaling in the high five, low six digit range. And that’s just for a visit, not including all of the inpatient treatments you might need, or addition medications or services while you’re there. Long hospital stays aren’t covered by Medicare. Neither are sometimes life-saving blood transfusions. It is only sane to have some sort of coverage to protect you from having to pay these sorts of costs out of pocket.
Right now, there are four plans designed to cover the gaps in Part A of Traditional Medicare. These plans are: Plans A, D, K, and L. Other plans cover gap in Part A as well as gaps in Part B, which will be discussed below. If you don’t think you will have extended Medicare Part B costs and are largely concerned with Part A, then you will be able to save even more, as plans which cover only Part A gaps are available at a lower premium. This could save a considerable amount as well over time.
Medigap Plans B, C, D, F, G, M, and N, are all created to cover the gaps in both Medicare Part A as well as various other aspects of Medicare Part B. The more thorough the coverage in your plan, the higher the premium is likely to be. But, this also means that you will likely have much less out-of-pocket costs, so it still could save you money in the long run. It all depends on your specific insurance product needs. Be certain to note that Plan F is set to retire in 2020, and will not be offered any longer as of 2021.
Medicare Part B has its own gaps as well. Part A handles hospitals and inpatient procedures; Part B is supposed to cover most of everything outside of that. This includes outpatient operations, check-ups from doctors, even some small pieces of medical equipment. However, the co-pays, coinsurance, and yearly premiums for Medicare Part B can be incredibly costly over time, so much so that it can become unmanageable quite quickly. Fortunately, there are many Medigap plans which account for this and are designed to help reduce Medicare Part B expenses so patients don’t get bogged down financially.
Medicare Advantage has coverage options for prescriptions, dental, and vision, for an additional premium. However, Medicare Supplement Insurance does not. Original Medicare offers Part D for these coverages, which can be purchased with or without any other Original Medicare parts. A Google search for Aurora plus the terms “dental” or “vision” and “insurance” can yield several alternative options as well, many of which are quite cost-saving.
Seniors living in Aurora, CO must know that having supplemental Medicare coverage is necessary for going into the final stage of life. It protects your retirement, and your health. Medical costs are only going to continue to rise for all, and especially seniors. That is beyond anyone’s control. But what you can control is how well you prepare. You must find a Medicare supplement policy that is comprehensive enough for your medical needs, and still fits your monthly budget. We want to help you find that policy today.
|Medigap Plan||Minimum Monthly Premium||Maximum Monthly Premium||Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)|
|Plan F (high deductible)||$31||$89||$196|