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Medicare Supplement Insurance Can Protect You From Out-Of-Pocket Costs With Medicare

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In Washington, there is an ongoing debate regarding Medicare.
Millions of seniors and younger people who depend on Medicare due to disability are caught in the middle.
In such uncertain times, it's important to avoid more out-of-pocket expenses and retain your savings to be prepared for changes in Medicare benefits.
That requires understanding what the government's Medicare now covers.
Medicare is divided into four categories of benefits: Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D.
Part A covers hospital stays, home health care and hospice care.
Part B handles doctor's services and laboratory tests.
Part C refers to Medicare Advantage Plans that can replace the government provided Original Medicare by including the benefits of Part A and B along with coverage for prescriptions.
If you don't have this Part C prescription coverage, you may be interested in Part D, which only covers prescription drugs.
Basically when you get one of the Medicare Advantage Plans, you are substituting private insurance for Original Medicare.
These private plans must comply with Medicare's rules, though, so they provide all the coverage available through Medicare and then some.
They usually provide drug coverage (but not all plans cover all medicines), and often add dental and vision services.
However such plans are not universally available.
If one of these plans is available where you live, it may offer the best rates and these plans accept applications regardless of any pre-existing condition except for ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease).
In addition to all four Medicare options, there's an alternative known as Medicare Supplemental Insurance that fills in gaps in Original Medicare.
These Medigap Plans cover services that Medicare doesn't.
For example, a Medigap Plan can pay for the 20 percent of every doctor bill that Medicare beneficiaries must cover.
With 10 different types of Medigap Insurance, you can hand pick the benefits you're most likely to need.
Medigap Plans are distinguished by letters, such as Plan A, Plan B, etc.
Medigap Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage, but as with other kinds of insurance, expanded coverage comes at a price.
Plan F has been the most popular, but Plan G may be a more cost effective solution this year.
That's because preventive services are now fully covered through Original Medicare.
You'll no longer need to pay for 20 percent of a doctor's fee for an annual check-up, flu shots and certain screening procedures that can detect common forms of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.
Medigap Plan G has all of the benefits of Plan F with one exception.
It doesn't reimburse you for Medicare's Part B deductible on doctor services.
Now that you no longer need to meet that Part B deductible before preventive services are covered, it may not be cost effective to pay higher premiums to get that reimbursement.
It depends on your medical history.
If you habitually need to see a doctor for something that wouldn't be covered as a preventive service, Medigap Plan F may still save you money.
If all you usually need falls under the category of 100-percent covered preventive care, paying higher premiums wouldn't make sense because you wouldn't have to meet the Part B deductible.
In that case, you couldn't collect on the benefit and be reimbursed for having to meet that deductible.
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