By now you’ve seen the news and read the articles. There’s no hiding that Medicare Parts A and B are almost as holy as our old college sweaters. But how do we cover those gaps safely without breaking the entire budget? Fortunately, there exist insurances for the sole purpose of providing in these particular instances. Medicare Advantage and Medigap policies are what we need. As a Nebraska senior, there are surely plenty of questions you have about the topic of insurance, and we’re here to help.
Senior Medicare in Omaha: Facts and Figures
- There are 57,596 senior citizens living in Omaha right now
- There are 9 hospitals in the Omaha area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care
- 12% of Nebraska seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan
- 47% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan
- Which leaves 41% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
Many seniors are afflicted with particular types of disease as they reach a certain age. Unfortunately, these tend to be the variety which are lingering and persistent, requiring care from diagnosis to end of life. Many can worsen over the passage of time, making medical costs skyrocket as the years pass. There is substantial evidence to suggest that seniors will likely suffer more than just one of these ailments at a time, too. That means costs doubling and tripling in a blink. Here are the more prevalent chronic diseases in Omaha.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Omaha)|
|High Blood Pressure||30%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||6%|
Healthcare Costs in Omaha, NE
We cannot talk about chronic disease without talking about money. Medicine, equipment, hospital care, doctor’s visits; they all add up quickly. And they keep adding up as more time goes on. Seniors are living longer lives than ever, which is fantastic. But that quality of life quickly diminishes when crushed under the weight of unending medical debt. Now is more important than ever to ensure you have adequate protection for the next phase of your life. Affordable, comprehensive, helpful healthcare coverage is the most important preparation.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Omaha)||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||30%||$288|
|Coronary Heart Disease||6%||$9,209|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Omaha, NE
While the name ‘Medicare’ might make you think these programs are government-offered, that is not actually the case. Medicare Advantage is its own form of private insurance. It is approved by the government to sell to seniors who are already enrolled in Medicare. Instead of paying for your insurance costs directly, the government pays their share to Medicare Advantage, and you pay the rest of the premium. Law requires that Medicare Advantage plans provide at least every benefit which a traditional Medicare plan offers, but they go much further than just basics.
Medicare Advantage plans can offer many seniors better coverage options for their chronic ailments. Diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure are generally progressive and last until end-of-life, plus require extra effort to manage. Drug tests, prescriptions, equipment, additional doctor visits; all of these things can and do culminate over time, resulting in a higher bill. Medicare Advantage can be more effective than just Medicare plans alone. Over time, as these conditions continue to get worse, bills will continue to pile up. Even with Medicare Part D, you can get more coverage and save more money with some Medicare Advantage plans. It’s important to start budgeting now for the inevitable cost.
A cost effective drug plan is only part of what can be added to Medicare Advantage plans. Doctor appointments, equipment of the medical or pharmaceutical variety, and an economical prescription system, are all options for different Medicare Advantage plans. Even more give the choice to incorporate dental or vision benefits into their packages, as an extra boon. The federal government which would be providing Medicare then instead redirects the funds to the Medicare Advantage plan of your choice. That means you could receive even more coverage for no additional cost! However, copays and coinsurance will still always be the responsibility of the policy holder. And with any insurance policy, there will be some expenses that just aren’t covered.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Omaha, NE
Medigap is another type of Medicare Supplement Insurance. They work similarly to Medicare Advantage and can save money in covering gaps in traditional Medicare Part A. The most common conditions (heart disease, for example) can cost upwards of five figures just for the hospital stay and administered in-patient treatments alone. At a certain cutoff, Original Medicare plans stop paying, and any remaining balance must come from the patient’s own pocket. A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can stop that.
Right now, there are four plans intended to cover Medicare Part A gaps. Plans A, D, K, and L are all intended for covering the potential gaps in Traditional Medicare. Additional plans do account for Part A, but with Part B as well. Those will be discussed below the chart. However, if you don’t need coverage for Part B, then it would be wise to consider a plan without it, as it will save in premium costs.
However, if you anticipate needing help with the gaps in Part A and Part B, there are Medigap plans B, C, D, F, G, M, and N. These cover differing aspects of traditional Medicare parts A and B. As always with any insurance, more coverage results in more premium. Still, it is important to note that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. More coverage also means less out of pocket expenses, so paying a higher premium could actually save money in the long run. Plan F is only available for a limited time, as it will be retiring in 2021.
Traditional Medicare Part B covers any medical aspect that Part A cannot. This generally includes outpatient procedures, regular office visits, and medical testing home equipment. Responsibilities like coinsurance and copays will remain with the patient, as well as any premium. These costs too can be hard to handle, but thankfully there is no shortage of choices to help further reduce them.
Medicare Supplement Insurance does not cover any prescriptions, dental, or vision care, unlike Medical Advantage. But Traditional Medicare does have Part D available, which is specifically for purchasing medical drugs. Part D is available for purchase for anyone eligible for Medicare, whether or not they have any other Medicare plan currently as their main coverage. Also available online are hundreds of alternative medical plans for dental or vision in the Omaha area, which can be found through a simple Google search.
Seniors living in Omaha, NE 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)||$32||$76||$190|