There is no shortage of information about Medicare Parts A and B, but it is often conveyed in confusing, unclear terms. And usually no information is given about the potential pitfalls and gaping gaps in the policies, leaving policy holders less protected than they believe themselves to be. Once you do learn about those gaps, then you need to understand that you have options to cover them.
Senior Medicare in Michigan: Facts and Figures
- There are 672,662 senior citizens living in Detroit right now
- There 10 hospitals in the Michigan area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care
- 34% of Michigan seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan
- 22% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan
- Which leaves 54% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
Aging makes everyone more at risk for particular diseases. Most of which will last for the rest of our lives, and require increasing amounts of care. Some may get better, but the more likely option is that they’ll continue to worsen with time. Not only will your health be at stake, but your financial security as well. Medical expenses are on the rise every single year, and fiscal evidence shows they will likely continue well into the future. There is also the potential that you might experience more than one of these diseases at the same time, doubling your medical bills.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Detroit)|
|High Blood Pressure||47%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||9%|
Healthcare Costs in Detroit, MI
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 Detroit)||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||47%||$356|
|Coronary Heart Disease||9%||$7,954|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Detroit, MI
The federal government has approved Medicare Advantage as a form of private health insurance. It is open to senior citizens who are eligible to be on Medicare, even if they are not currently enrolled in a Medicare plan. Instead of the government paying for your medical bills directly, they send their contribution towards your Medicare Advantage premium, and you only owe the difference. In many cases, this ends up being zero. These plans, by law, have to cover at least Medicare Parts A and B, and more cover additional in the form of vision or dental.
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 Detroit, MI
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.
Medigap Plans A, D, K, and L are the ones designed to cover the pricy costs for the lack of coverage in Medicare Part A. The other Medigap plans have Part A coverage as well, but include extras that we’ll touch on in a minute. If Medicare Part B costs aren’t something you need, you then shouldn’t feel the need to purchase them, thus saving you more premium. If hospital stays from Part A is your concern, Plans A, D, K, and L are the ones you may wish to consider first.
The plans we previously referred to but didn’t discuss are Medigap Plans B, C, D, F, G, M, and N. These plans not only cover Medicare Part A gaps, but also Medicare Part B gaps. Of course, more comprehensive coverage leads to larger premiums every month, but lesser out-of-pocket costs when the time actually comes to use your policy. Also note that Plan F is being retired after the year 2020, and you will no longer be able to enroll in it after that year.
But what gaps are there in Medicare Part B? We know Part A is hospital stays and inpatient care, so what is left for B? Nearly everything else. Any outpatient procedures, specialist check-ups, medical or therapeutic gear, supplies or necessities. These are all supposed to be covered under Medicare Part B, but of course, there are always exceptions like copays and coinsurance. Still, there are Medigap plans designed to pitch in with those sorts of costs.
Medicare Advantage offers plans which cover incidental costs with prescriptions, dental, or vision coverages. Medicare supplement (or Medigap) plans do not. Medicare itself does give the option for Part D coverage which is very inclusive for many types of prescription medications. A quick online search can uncover excellent local sources of dental or vision insurers which offer discounts to seniors.
For Detroit 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)||$32||$57||$180|