Waterbury, also known as Brass City, is a great place to live. There are plenty of things to do and the city has a great and shining history. Unfortunately for you, Original Medicare health insurance only makes it more difficult to live there. For example, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses every single year as a result of the Medicare coverage gaps. That’s a good number of double-disbursements from your retirement accounts. Of course, seniors in Waterbury have already realized that there are two ways to avoid those out-of-pocket expenses: either enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or enroll in a Medicare Supplement (a.k.a. Medigap) health insurance plan.
Facts and Figures
- There are 13,943 seniors living in Waterbury right now.
- There are 2 hospitals in the Waterbury 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!
Just over half of the seniors in the Waterbury area have reliable access to affordable healthcare. If you’re among the 45%, or 6,274, seniors who don’t have either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medigap plan, then each day poses a new or continued risk to your financial and personal independence. As you age, your likelihood of developing an age-related illness increases. Even if you already have one, two, or even more age-related illnesses, you can always develop more. On the off-chance that your number of illnesses does not increase, the aging process can also cause your existing symptoms to increase in both frequency and severity. For most seniors, the aging process tends to include developing new symptoms while previous symptoms continue to worsen. The chart below shows only a couple of the most prevalent age-related illnesses in the Waterbury area.
|Disease||Prevalence in Waterbury, CT|
|High Blood Pressure||35%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||7%|
Healthcare Costs in Waterbury, CT
Needless to say, more problems equals higher expenses. The more illnesses you develop and the worse your symptoms become, the more you’re going to need to see a doctor. The more you see the doctor, the more your insurance is going to have to cover. The more your insurance covers, the more likely it is to cut you off and toss you into the Medicare coverage gaps. On top of that, your healthcare expenses are likely to increase even more in the face of rising medical costs. Economists are torn as to why it’s happening, but medical costs are rising across the board with no end in sight. Since seniors are living longer lives now than ever before, these increasing costs have more time to really add up. The chart below demonstrates just how expensive a single illness can become. Since seniors often develop more than one, the prices become even more severe.
|Disease||Prevalence in Waterbury, CT||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||35%||$354|
|Coronary Heart Disease||7%||$8,525|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Waterbury, CT
28% of seniors in Waterbury rely on a Medicare Advantage plan to meet their healthcare needs. Medicare Advantage plans function by hiring a private company to entirely replace your government-provided Original Medicare plan, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose coverage. The law requires that all Medicare Advantage plans include the same minimum guarantees as Original Medicare. Moreover, because of the competitive nature of health insurance providers, many Medicare Advantage plans come with the option to add additional coverage benefits directly to your plan. Even though these additional options can cost quite a bit, the government tends to pay all or most of your health insurance premiums. That means that you could potentially enjoy a significantly increased suite of healthcare benefits while still paying nothing at all.
One of the best functions of Medicare Advantage plans is the ability to add comprehensive prescription drug coverage directly to your plan. Although these plans tend to vary from provider to provider in terms of what medications are specifically covered, the general rule of thumb is that they cover just about everything. That means medications ranging from brand names to generics and, in many cases, even medical necessities like glucose monitors and testing strips. If you rely heavily on multiple prescription medications and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage just doesn’t get you what you need, you would most likely find that Medicare Advantage helps you save a large amount of money in out-of-pocket expenses each year and even more over the five- and ten-year periods.
With the addition of vision and dental care coverage, you can save even more money by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans can be added directly to your Medicare Advantage plan, making it easy and simple to add additional coverage options. This is something that is entirely unique to Medicare Advantage, which is to say that neither Original Medicare nor Medicare Supplement Insurance plans have the option to add vision and dental care coverage directly to your plan.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Waterbury, CT
Medicare Supplement insurance is often referred to as “Medigap” insurance. The name comes from the purpose of the insurance plan: to supplement your Original Medicare in order to prevent you from having to pay the high out-of-pocket costs of the Medicare coverage gaps. There are ten plans in total (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N) and each one provides different benefits at different costs. That said, each and every plan is designed to provide some kind of coverage related to the expenses of Medicare Part A coverage gaps, which can be excessively expensive for seniors who suffer from age-related health conditions such as heart disease and kidney disease. Each of these ten plans can be broken down into one of two categories.
The first category of plans includes those that only provide benefits related to Medicare Part A coverage gaps. That includes Medigap types A, D, K, and L. These plans are great for seniors who need help affording things like hospital stays, blood transfusions, and skilled nursing care, but also cover much more than that. Unfortunately, the extent of these coverage options is confined exclusively to Medicare Part A’s coverage gaps. If you are struggling with the high out-of-pocket expenses of Medicare Part B coverage gaps as well, you will want to look into the second category of Medigap plans.
The second category of Medigap plans includes those plans that not only provide protection against Medicare Part A coverage gaps but also provide protection against Medicare Part B coverage gaps. That includes Medigap types B, C, F, G, M, and N. Each of these plans provides benefits related to Medicare Part A (such as those mentioned above) while also making treatments related to Medicare Part B (such as emergency services and ambulance rides) far more affordable. Unfortunately, Medigap Plan F will not be offered after 2020. In order to continue to receive a comparable level of care, you will have to enroll in a different one of these plans, or hurry and enroll in Plan F before the expiration date for new enrollees. Just keep in mind that you will lose your Plan F benefits for good if you ever change your plan after Plan F is no longer available for sale.
As mentioned in the section on Medicare Advantage, it is impossible to add vision or dental care coverage directly to your Medicare Supplement insurance plan. It is also impossible to add prescription drug coverage directly to your plan. That said, acquiring these coverage options is relatively simple. For vision and dental care coverage, you can contact a private insurer in the Waterbury area and ask to enroll in one of their bundled vision and dental plans. That can be done at any time, since neither vision nor dental plans have to go through the open-enrollment periods. For prescription drug coverage, you can enroll in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Although this might not be the best idea for you if you use a large number of prescription medications, you might find that it is perfect for meeting your needs if you only rely on a couple different medications. The best way to find out if your needs would be satisfied by a Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan would be to speak to an expert.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, your risk of developing new or worsening symptoms increases, and more problems seem to be wiggling their way through the cracks, it is more important than ever before that you be proactive with your healthcare. That means not waiting for the “perfect time” to switch. You’ve got to take control of your insurance right now. So don’t wait! Log on to Medigap.com today and speak with the experts about which plan is right for you. The sooner you act, the healthier you stay.
|Medigap Plan||Minimum Monthly Premium||Maximum Monthly Premium||Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)|
|Plan F (high deductible)||$50||$90||$206|