If you’re worried about how you’re going to afford healthcare while trapped in the Medicare coverage gaps, you’re not alone. There are thousands of other seniors in New Haven struggling to do just that. Medicare’s coverage gaps have been described as the thresholds in between your ordinary, everyday coverage benefits and those select benefits which Medicare won’t pay for, like coinsurance or long hospital stays. During those thresholds, you experience significantly decreased coverage options, often having to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses each year. Fortunately, it has recently become more common for seniors to not have to suffer through those Medicare coverage gaps. How? By enrolling in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.

Facts and Figures

  • There are 13,693 seniors living in New Haven right now.
  • There are 5 hospitals in the New Haven area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care.
  • 28% of Connecticut seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 27% of Connecticut seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
  • Which leaves 45% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!

The solution to Medicare coverage gaps might seem simple, but it’s not. Because of the existence of age-related illnesses and the fact that you become more likely to develop one or more of those illnesses as you age, the risk of unforeseen medical circumstances calling for urgent care makes having proper insurance coverage ever more important. Since the main harm of age-related illnesses is in the fact that their symptoms flare up more frequently and those flare ups become more severe with age as well, relying exclusively on Original Medicare for your insurance coverage poses a considerable risk to your financial independence.

Disease Prevalence in New Haven, CT
Arthritis 21%
High Blood Pressure 31%
Coronary Heart Disease 5%
Diabetes 11%
Kidney Disease 3%

Healthcare Costs in New Haven, CT

That risk to your financial independence manifests itself through increased healthcare costs. As your symptoms worsen, become more frequent, and grow more severe, you will most likely require additional treatment. That means more doctor’s visits, more hospitalizations, more surgeries, and so on, depending on the nature of your illness. Even with one age-related illness, healthcare costs can be quite expensive, coming in at thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses each year. Even so, it is quite common for seniors to develop multiple age-related illnesses over time, causing a doubling or even tripling effect on your out-of-pocket expenses. Making matters even worse is the fact that medical costs in general are on the rise, meaning that the same surgery next year might cost even more. Since seniors are living longer lives now than ever before, there are more years in your life for medical costs to increase.

Disease Prevalence in New Haven, CT Annual Cost of Treatment
Arthritis 21% $291
High Blood Pressure 31% $354
Coronary Heart Disease 5% $8,525
Diabetes 11% $2,163
Kidney Disease 3% $8,237

Medicare Advantage Savings in New Haven, CT

More than 3,800 seniors in New Haven have enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in order to save money on just about all aspects of healthcare. It’s important to note that these are private plans that completely replace your government-provided Original Medicare plan, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be losing any benefits. On the contrary, many Medicare Advantage providers offer additional coverage options on top of all of the Original Medicare benefits, which they are required by law to provide. Of course, many of those additional coverage options require you to pay additional amounts in premiums. But that shouldn’t be much of a problem at all. The government is willing to pay most or all of your Medicare Advantage premiums, making it possible for you to enjoy all of the benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan with none of the costs.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, or arthritis, for example, you can stand to benefit the most from a Medicare Advantage plan by adding prescription drug coverage and minor medical equipment coverage to your plan. Generally speaking, Medicare Advantage prescription drug coverage provides far more expansive options than Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, making it the preferable option for seniors who rely on large amounts of prescription medications. With the inclusion of minor medical equipment coverage, you can also maintain affordable access to medical necessities like glucose monitors and testing strips. These benefits can enable you to save upwards of $10,000 over a ten-year period.

Medicare Advantage plans also often come with the option of adding dental and vision care coverage to your plan, making it possible to enjoy not just the basics of Original Medicare but also significantly increased coverage benefits. This is one of the major differences between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance. Whereas Medicare Advantage plans are capable of providing comprehensive dental and vision care, Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance barely cover any form of dental or vision care unless it is administered as an emergency or as part of a necessary treatment while you’ve been admitted to a hospital.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in New Haven, CT

Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans function by supplementing Original Medicare. That means that you can keep your Original Medicare plan if you so choose. Medigap plans simply stack additional coverage options on top of your Original Medicare coverage in order to prevent you from losing thousands of dollars each year to the Medicare coverage gaps. All in all, there are 10 plan types from which to choose, each providing their own benefits and costs. Because all 10 plan types provide significant benefits relating to the Medicare Part A coverage gaps, seniors who suffer from health conditions such as age-related heart or kidney disease tend to find that they have plenty of great options available through Medigap insurance.

The first few plans that you should know about are Medicare Supplement insurance plans of types A, D, K, and L. These plans all provide significant improvements to Medicare Part A coverage, erasing the out-of-pocket costs of the Part A coverage gaps. That means that being admitted into a hospital, receiving a blood transfusion, and obtaining skilled nursing care would no longer push your out-of-pocket expenses through the roof. Although this type of plan can be great for seniors who only suffer from Medicare Part A coverage gaps, it doesn’t provide any similar benefits related to Medicare Part B, meaning that many seniors will find that these plans don’t cover all of their important treatments.

On the other hand, Medicare Supplement insurance plans of types B, C, F, G, M, and N all provide extra coverage for the coverage gaps of both Medicare Part A as well as Medicare Part B. By having both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage gaps covered, you gain worry-free access to emergency services, ambulance rides, hospital stays, skilled nursing care, and just about everything else that most seniors need. Unfortunately, Medigap Plan F is scheduled to be discontinued beginning in 2021, making 2020 the last year to enroll in the benefits of that comprehensive plan.

A common misconception is that enrolling in a Medigap plan means going without prescription drug coverage and dental and vision coverage. That misconception stems from the fact that you can’t add those coverage options directly to a Medigap plan. While that is true, you can easily add those coverage options indirectly. Enrolling in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage to supplement your Medigap plan can potentially provide you with all of the prescriptions that you could ever need. If not, you’ll likely have to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in order to meet those needs. When it comes to vision and dental care, many Medigap beneficiaries enroll in private dental and vision coverage plans, which can cost as little as $20 per month depending on the specifics of the plan.

With medical costs on the rise, your risk of developing an age-related illness increasing every day, and annual costs of treatment increasing each year, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are protected by the proper insurance. When it comes to securing your financial independence, hesitation can prove disastrous. So don’t wait! Head over to Medigap.com and began speaking with our experts about which plan is right for you. Your future is in your hands.

Medigap Plan Minimum Monthly Premium Maximum Monthly Premium Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)
Plan A $147 $784 $601
Plan B $202 $726 $600
Plan C $239 $573 $542
Plan D $221 $515 $504
Plan F $221 $544 $518
Plan F (high deductible) $50 $90 $206
Plan G $199 $473 $472
Plan K $62 $135 $234
Plan L $119 $301 $346
Plan M $201 $430 $451
Plan N $146 $289 $353
by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.