For seniors living in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the surrounding area leaves little to be desired. Not only does Las Cruces have ample relaxing venues in which to enjoy yourself, it also has a vibrant retirement community of over 15,000 seniors. Unfortunately, Las Cruces is still plagued by the same problem that has destroyed 401(k)s and IRAs all over the country: Medicare coverage gaps. These gaps are the thresholds between your effective benefits and the medical benefits which Medicare refuses to pay for. In order to avoid the high out-of-pocket costs that coincide therewith, it’s important to enroll in either a Medicare Advantage insurance plan or a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.
Facts and Figures
- There are 15,233 seniors living in Las Cruces right now.
- There are 8 hospitals in the Las Cruces area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care.
- 33% of New Mexico seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan.
- 13% of New Mexico seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
- Which leaves 54% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
With an estimated 8,225 seniors who lack reliable access to affordable healthcare in the Las Cruces area, subpar health insurance is something of an epidemic for New Mexico’s seniors. If you’re among the 54% of seniors in Las Cruces who rely on Original Medicare to meet your healthcare needs, then you need to be particularly well aware of the threat posed by age-related illnesses. As you age, your risk of developing signs or symptoms of age-related illnesses increase, bringing your total diagnoses up potentially every couple years. To make matters worse, any symptoms that have already presented themselves can potentially become worse in terms of both frequency and severity over time. The chart below demonstrates the prevalence in of a few of the most widely recognized age-related illnesses in the Las Cruces area.
|Disease||Prevalence in Las Cruces, NM|
|High Blood Pressure||28%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||6%|
Healthcare Costs in Las Cruces, NM
The more symptoms you develop and the worse your existing symptoms become, the more you can expect to pay in healthcare costs. As your symptoms become more frequent or severe or you develop new symptoms, you will most likely begin to seek out additional treatments in order to manage those symptoms. Since Medicare coverage gaps become a problem when you start using your benefits more frequently or to cover more expensive treatments, that means that you will most likely find that you are paying more out-of-pocket every year. Combine that with the fact that medical costs of all kinds are rising each year, and you’re left with a mean double threat to your finances. Even things that seem on the surface to be great can present additional problems. For example, seniors are living longer lives than ever before. That sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it also means that there will now be more time in your life for your health to worsen and your medical bills to pile up.
|Disease||Prevalence in Las Cruces, NM||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||28%||$356|
|Coronary Heart Disease||6%||$7,255|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Las Cruces, NM
By far the most common of the two methods for avoiding coverage gaps in Las Cruces is to replace your Original Medicare plan with a Medicare Advantage plan. Not only do these plans entirely replace your Original Medicare plan, they are also provided by private companies rather than the federal government. But that isn’t to say that Medicare Advantage plans are simply greedy money traps. The government requires that all providers of Medicare Advantage plans also provide the same level of basic care options as to be found in Original Medicare. Moreover, the independence of each provider makes it possible for them to offer additional coverage options that can’t be found in Original Medicare. That being said, those additional coverage options also require that you pay higher premiums, although you can potentially negate every penny of your premiums if you qualify to have the government pay them for you. That means you could end up paying $0 per month despite having more coverage benefits in your arsenal.
Many seniors elect to add prescription drug coverage directly to their Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Prescription drug coverage is one of the most comprehensive options for seniors looking to meet their prescription needs. If you are heavily reliant on a large number of prescription medications, you could easily find yourself running up the medical bill with another type of plan. However, Medicare Advantage prescription drug coverage can cover just about any and all of your prescription needs, including things like glucose monitors and testing strips. That means that, if you have been diagnosed with arthritis, high blood pressure, and/or diabetes, you could end up saving tens of thousands of dollars within ten years of your enrollment date.
In order to save even more money on a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s possible for you to add vision and dental care coverage. Unlike with Original Medicare or Medicare Supplement Insurance, it is possible to add these coverage options directly to your Medicare Advantage plan. That means that, instead of having to hunt down additional coverage options from outside sources, you can simply talk to your provider, pay the higher premiums, and add the coverage directly to your plan.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Las Cruces, NM
Medicare Supplement insurance plans, also known as Medigap plans, function just as the name suggests. Instead of replacing your Original Medicare plan like Medicare Advantage, these plans supplement it in order to ensure that you don’t have to worry about Medicare coverage gaps. That means that these plans function more like icing on the cake rather than throwing the cake out or eating just a handful of bland sponge cake. All in all, there are ten different Medigap plans, each bringing to the table its own particular pros and cons. That being said, these plans are designed with seniors like you in mind. For example, every single one of the ten plans bridges the coverage gaps of Medicare Part A, which can be particularly destructive to the finances of seniors suffering from age-related heart and/or kidney disease. These plans can then be categorized each into one of two potential categories.
The first category of Medigap plans includes plan types A, D, K, and L. These are the plans that only provide coverage for expenses related to Medicare Part A coverage gaps, which covers treatments like hospitalizations, blood transfusions, and skilled nursing care. These plans are particularly useful for seniors who find themselves only paying out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare Part A coverage gaps because neither of these plans provide much assistance of any kind when it comes to Medicare Part B coverage gaps and expenses related thereto.
The second category of Medigap plans includes plan types B, C, F, G, M, and N. These are the plans that not only provide coverage for expenses related to Medicare Part A but also for expenses related to Medicare Part B. That means that one of these plans could potentially cover you in many of the same ways as one of the plans in the first category as well as covering most or all of your necessary emergency treatments as well. Unfortunately, not every Medigap plan is scheduled to last forever. Medigap Plan F, a favorite plan for thousands of seniors, is going to be discontinued at the start of 2021, meaning that you won’t be able to enroll in the plan after 2020.
Now comes the downside of Medigap insurance. Although these plans are the best options for many seniors, there is no way to add vision, dental, or prescription drug coverage directly to the plan. That being said, there are a couple of other things that you can do to ensure that you stay covered. For vision and dental care coverage, you can enroll in a private vision and dental plan provided by an insurer who services the Las Cruces area. These plans tend to be very inexpensive and, best of all, you can enroll at any time. That’s because there is no open-enrollment period for vision or dental insurance. When it comes to prescription medications, you can easily enough enroll in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, which tends to be more than enough for most seniors.
As your risk of developing new or worsening symptoms increases and medical costs continue to rise, it is more important than ever to ensure that your health insurance is up to the task of protecting you against both unforeseen and foreseen medical complications. Waiting another year for Open Enrollment to begin can result in another year of spending thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses as the result of Medicare coverage gaps. So don’t wait! Head over to Medigap.com today and start shopping for the plan that is right for you.
|Medigap Plan||Minimum Monthly Premium||Maximum Monthly Premium||Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)|
|Plan F (high deductible)||$26||$64||$181|