Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
Americans don’t celebrate it as a holiday, but July 30 is an important historical date in the United States. It was on this day in 1965 that President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law, introducing a national health insurance program for citizens aged 65 and older. Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
In its first year of availability, more than 19 million Americans enrolled in the program. Medicare has since expanded to include individuals who are permanently disabled and those who suffer from kidney failure. This year the number of enrollees is expected to reach 57 million, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As the Baby Boomer generation continues to leave the workforce, that number will continue to increase. In fact, Becker’s Hospital Review projects that 19.1 million more people will enroll in the program over the next 11 years. Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
That’s why it’s important for people approaching retirement to consider Medicare Supplement insurance. A Medicare Supplement policy can help patients cover some of the costs related to medical treatment that aren’t paid by Medicare. Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
But, before investing in Medicare Supplement insurance, consumers have to do their homework. They should review the 2016 Medicare and You guide published by CMS to find the latest updates to the Medicare program, and also research insurance companies. Not all companies are the same, and there are five things that people should consider before they decide which company to go with:
Insurance Company Ranking
There are many insurance companies that sell Medicare Supplement insurance in the United States today. Fortunately, there are third party organizations like Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best that rate these insurance organizations for financial strength. These ratings are important to consider when choosing your coverage, as they rate an insurance company’s credit worthiness and its ability to pay its claims.
Experienced agents Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
When buying Medicare Supplement insurance, be sure to work with an agent who is knowledgeable and experienced in selling the ten standardized Medicare supplement plans.
Medicare is a complicated topic and consumers have so many other issues to think about after retiring from a lifetime of work that working with an agent has its advantages.
The majority of insurance companies will educate and provide training to their agents to ensure that they know the product and insurance laws before they allow them to sell. These insurance companies make sure that their agents stay updated on the annual changes the government makes to the Medicare program, which helps them to work with customers to find the insurance policy(ies) that is right for them.
Not all Medicare Supplemental insurance programs cover pre-existing conditions. Before reading through a policy, a number of seniors sign up for insurance, only to realize later that they aren’t covered for a second heart attack, or for hospital stays due to recurring back problems during the preexisting condition limitation period.
All companies that sell Medicare Supplement policies cover all pre-existing conditions during an insured’s open enrollment period, which is six months from their Medicare Part B effective date—so start researching your options right away and be sure to connect with a knowledgeable sales person well within those first 180 days. But, some will issue the policy beyond the open enrollment period with a pre-existing condition clause attached. If you are like most consumers, and don’t want to worry about what might not be covered at the time of a claim due to a pre-existing condition, then it is important to choose a company that does not issue policies with pre-existing clauses.
Multiple plan options
Medicare Supplement insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are four parts to Medicare:
Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
• Part A, covering in-hospital care
• Part B covering medical services and preventative care
• Part C, Medicare Advantage which is a combination of the first two
• Part D, medical prescriptions
There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N). Find a provider that can talk with you about what plans they offer in your state, and who can talk you through what will work best for your specific situation.
Customer’s Choice Understanding Medicare through Supplemental
Technology has changed the way the business of insurance is done. Today’s seniors are more tech savvy than previous generations, with Pew Research data showing that 61 percent of people over the age of 65 go online. Seniors expect and want to buy insurance the way they want to buy it – whether it’s purchasing online, over the phone, or face-to-face. When researching insurance companies, find one that will work with you the way you want. Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
Millions of Americans are helped by the Medicare program each year, but supplemental insurance plays a critical role in helping policyholders to cover expenses they would otherwise have to pay. You worked your whole life to be in a position to enjoy your retirement. Don’t let the exorbitant medical expenses from an unexpected injury or illness prevents you from doing that. Research how supplemental insurance can help you, and find an informed agent who can help you select coverage that is right for you. Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
By Kevin Murray and John Fauzey, Combined Insurance
Kevin Murray is Vice President, Combined Affinity Markets and John Fauzey is VP, Director of Senior Sales at Combined Insurance. Understanding Medicare through Supplemental Insurance
About the Author
Jeff has been the CEO of Senior.com for 12 years. Senior.com has grown under Jeff’s leadership, in fact when the website was first launched, the member base grew form Zero to over 700,000 in less the 3 years. Current, has over 1,600,000 registered members.
Jeff received his MBA degree in Managerial Finance and Investor Relations from the University of Phoenix and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.View All Articles