Inordinate gaps in Medicare insurance coverage under Parts A and B are nothing we haven’t seen before. But what can be done to protect from it? Once we’re all a little further along in tooth, these sorts of financial fights aren’t just for loose change. They can mean the difference in a comfortable life or being stretched beyond thin. As a resident of Florida, you face some exceptionally unique challenges that most other seniors may not have when it comes to choosing the most economical health care for you.
Senior Medicare in Miami: Facts and Figures
- There are 78,171 senior citizens living in Miami right now
- There 10 hospitals in the Miami area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care
- 49% of Florida seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan
- 19% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan
- Which leaves 32% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
It is a sad truth that chronic ailments become more pervasive with age. It is simply what happens as the human body begins to cease functioning as well as it once did. Usually, these are the diseases which we carry for the rest of our lives, as well as the costs associated with them. As if that wasn’t difficult enough to handle, it is not just possible but likely that we may have more than one disease at a time. This could lead to outlandish medical expenses that could cripple even the most financially sound senior, if they are under- or uninsured. The chart below details the common chronic diseases among seniors in Miami.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Miami)|
|High Blood Pressure||32%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||7%|
Healthcare Costs in Miami, FL
We cannot look at prevalence alone without considering the cost factor of these diseases. Prescriptions, medical equipment, hospital time, at-home care, and scheduled check-ups all have a cost which culminate eventually. Medical costs continue to rise every single year, and seniors are living longer lives now more than ever. When considering these facts, the potential cost can get chillingly pricey, and fast. It is vital that you have the right health coverage going into the final stage of life if you want to protect your investments, yourself, and your future.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Miami)||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||32%||$359|
|Coronary Heart Disease||7%||$7,874|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Miami, FL
While Medicare Advantage is not government-issued, it is government-approved. Technically, Medicare Advantage is a separate, private insurance plan, but with very unique benefits. Insurance costs aren’t paid for by the government, but instead they redirect your intended costs to Medicare Advantage, and any remainder becomes the patient premium. This cost can be, in many cases, as low as $0 a month. Medicare Advantage must cover at least the same as Medicare Parts A & B, but many outside insurers offer add-on benefits for more premium.
Seniors in general say they feel the coverage is better under the Medicare Advantage plans than under Traditional Medicare. It is the nature of chronic diseases to require on-going management, whether for sustained treatment or simply to stave off symptoms and improve quality of life. Over time, conditions worsen and costs continue to increase, leaving patients worse off than ever. Medicare Advantage plans can be far more comprehensive than the coverage offered by Medicare alone, even with options like Part D.
With Medicare Advantage plans, you can receive much more inclusive benefits than traditional Medicare Parts A & B. They include visits to the doctor, necessary equipment, and potentially a valuable money-saving drug plan. A good portion of plans also include the option to add dental coverage or vision coverage to the policy. Because the government pays their portion of the monthly premium, the cost to seniors is drastically reduced, and in some cases can even be as low as $0 per month! Copays and coinsurance will still need to come from out-of-pocket, and there may be other items that are not covered by your insurance policy, no matter how broad it is.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Miami, FL
Additional Medicare gap coverage policies are Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, or Medigap policies. They work a bit differently than Medicare Advantage plans, but can still save a good amount of money, particularly with gaps in Medicare Part A. Severe chronic conditions can cost five digits and up for a single treatment or incident. At a given point, Medicare stops their coverage, and the patient is responsible for the rest. These bills can be huge, and make an already difficult diagnosis and treatment that much harder.
Currently, there are four different plans tailored for exactly the above coverages. These plans are: Plans A, D, K, and L. There are additional plans which cover gaps in Part A as well as gaps in Part B, but we will discuss those in a moment. For now, it is important to understand that if you do not need the gap coverage for traditional Medicare Part B, buying a supplement plan which only covers gaps in Part A will come with a lower premium, thus saving even more money.
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 plans are supposed to take care of aspects that Part A does not, namely outpatient procedures, general practitioner and specialist visits, and some select pieces of medical equipment. Co-pays, coinsurance, and premiums for Original Medicare Part B can be difficult, however. There are many options to reduce this cost and help from the expenses getting overwhelming.
Medicare Advantage has coverage options for prescriptions, dental, and vision, for 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 Miami plus the terms “dental” or “vision” and “insurance” can yield several alternative options as well, many of which are quite cost-saving.
For Miami seniors, having budget-friendly Medicare is integral to securing a comfortable, livable retirement, not to mention protecting any accrued savings. It is sad to say, but medical costs seem to only continue rising over time, and it is due to factors far beyond our control. But what we do have control over are the ways in which we prepare. Find a Medicare supplement insurance plan that will help you when you need it most, and keep you safe from pricy gaps. We want to help make that happen.
|Medigap Plan||Minimum Monthly Premium||Maximum Monthly Premium||Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)|
|Plan F (high deductible)||$76||$179||$263|