It seems like an everyday occurance nowadays that normal retirees are finding themselves buried in debt due to uncovered gaps in their Medicare Parts A and B. It’s just not much of a shock anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. Anywhere you go, it is insanely difficult for seniors to have a comprehensive policy available for an amount that is cost-effective on what’s likely a fixed income. Happily, this is where gap insurance comes into play and can help save the day, and some lives.
Senior Medicare in Cleveland: Facts and Figures
- There are 51,044 senior citizens living in Cleveland right now
- There 10 hospitals in the Cleveland area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care
- 35% of OH seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan
- 19% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan
- Which leaves 46% 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 Cleveland)|
|High Blood Pressure||42%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||9%|
Healthcare Costs in Cleveland, OH
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 Cleveland)||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||42%||$288|
|Coronary Heart Disease||9%||$7,272|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Cleveland, OH
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.
Seniors who enroll in Medicare Advantage feel that they have better coverage, particularly for chronic illnesses. Common ailments for seniors- like arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure- are difficult to manage at best. They can necessitate medications, testing supplies, more visits to the doctor, and a plethora of additional unforeseeable costs. As these conditions gradually get worse, the cost continues to go up. Some Medicare Advantage plans can offer much more thorough coverage than Medicare alone, even with a Part D drug plan. Even with insurance plans and supplements, it isn’t a bad idea to save now, to be better prepared for later.
Not only do Medicare Advantage plans cover as much as Medicare Parts A and B; they can potentially cover even more. This can be doctor visits, various equipment, a prescription plan, or a combination of the three, plus more for most Medicare Advantage policies. Also, most plans come with the option to add dental or vision coverage to the policy you select. The government in turn subsidizes your monthly premium, allowing you to get a deep discount on Medicare Advantage plans. There is even the potential for a payment of $0 a month. Copays and coinsurance will still be patient expenses, and out-of-pocket costs will apply for the few items that your insurance does not cover.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Cleveland, OH
Medigap policies can help to save so much money because they work differently than other policies, particularly when it comes to Medicare Part A. The most difficult conditions – like kidney failure or coronary heart disease – can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, even potentially reaching six figures. And that’s just for hospital stays and inpatient treatments, not including continuing care outside of the hospital setting. If you have to stay in the hospital for a prolonged period of time, or have a procedure like a blood transfusion, those aren’t covered either under Medicare Part A. That is why you need supplemental coverage like Medigap to fill in those holes in coverage and protect against costly additional medical expenses.
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.
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 Supplement Insurance does not have coverage for medical drugs, dental, or vision care, unlike Medicare Advantage. Traditional Medicare does offer Part D, which is coverage specifically for the above mentioned items, whether or not any other original plan is purchased. With a quick search through your preferred search engine, you can likely find alternate dental or vision coverage in your area for an affordable price.
Seniors living in Cleveland, Ohio 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 for 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)||$28||$69||$184|