Better Choices for Better Health Care

If you need prescription drugs, you must enroll in Part A or Part B of Medicare Part G Medicare. In addition, a Medigap insurance plan can help you cover other costs that are not covered by original Medicare, such as travel expenses when you travel around the country. If you simply cover certain costs – sharing costs required by Medicare – then you can pay Part-A and Part-B Medicare for your health insurance bills. If you take out supplemental Medicare insurance, you are not enrolled there, but you are not.

Medicare supplemental plans, also known as “Medigap plans,” are offered to help pay for health care costs. Original Medicare does not cover copies, co-insurance or deductibles, but the HAP Alliance Medicare Supplement provides coverage for copies, co-insurance and other costs, such as travel and medical expenses.

Medicare Supplement Plans D, F, G and N cover benefits in addition to basic care, but not copies, co-insurance or deductibles such as travel expenses.

If you want additional coverage, you must purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, such as Medicare Part D or Medicare Plan B. The original Medicare plan provides coverage for primary care, such as primary health care and prescription drugs. With Medicare’s Advantage plans, all coverage options are bundled into one convenient plan.

If you have a chronic illness, an SNP Advantage plan can help with your medical costs, but it is optional. If you are lucky enough to receive Medicare Part D or Medicare Plan B for primary care and prescription drugs, there is no financial penalty if you later have to purchase another policy because you need expensive drugs. Consider these Medicare coverage choices that you can make for yourself in your own home or in the office of your local health care provider.

Budgeting your health care costs in retirement can be difficult because you don’t usually know whether your spending for the year will be minimal or enormous.

Traditional Medicare provides good basic health care and pays recognized costs for hospitals, doctors and medical procedures. Traditional Medicare typically does not cover the full range of health costs, such as deductibles, ancillary costs, copying or spending out of pocket money, but it does provide the best basic care. In order to ensure good basic care, you must pay the licensed costs of hospital, doctor, medical treatment, etc. as well as the cost of prescription drugs.

Medigap, a supplemental insurance plan, is designed to bridge the gaps between traditional Medicare and traditional health plans for you. Medigap cover most of the costs of hospital, physician, medical treatment and prescription drugs, but do not cover the entire cost spectrum.

These plans are offered by Medicare – approved health insurers – and often include hospital, physician, treatment and drug coverage. You can opt for a Medicare Advantage plan, but you can also buy a standalone policy to opt for one of the many Medicare Advantage plans that include Part D of drug insurance. If your Medicare Advantage Plan does not include Part D, you may have to choose a plan that does.

This coverage can complement your regular, traditional Medicare coverage, which includes hospital, physician, treatment and drug coverage, as well as health insurance coverage.

It is important to contact your health care provider before making any changes to your Medicare coverage to make sure they accept the Medicare Advantage plan you are considering. Those who sign up for Medicare get Part A and Part B, but have to take action themselves to purchase supplemental insurance. Please note that you will continue to pay Medicare Part B premiums and the additional monthly premiums charged by Medicare Advantage plans.

The card shows the start date of your Medicare coverage, Part A and Part B, and you act as if you have made that choice.

You can opt for a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and get all your Medicare benefits, including Medicare Part D, Part B and Part A, bundled into one plan. You can choose to add a drug plan (Part D) or take out a Medigap policy that helps you pay for costs that are not covered by Medicare.

Certain individuals younger than 65 may also qualify for Medicare, including people with disabilities or those with permanent kidney failure. Some people with limited resources and incomes may also be able to pay the drug costs of Part D and forget about the benefits of Part B or Part A.

“The Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics will ensure the agency’s commitment to reduce administrative costs and enact meaningful and lasting change in our nation’s health care system,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a statement, in an article on FierceHealthcare.com.

The work of the new office will be targeted to help reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies, continue administrative simplification, increase the use of health informatics, and improve the beneficiary experience, Verma said.

These programs help with health care costs, but do not cover the full range of medical expenses such as prescription drugs, hospitalizations, and other medical care.

If you were in the original Medicare insurance plan, you would have to pay all of your out-of-pocket costs or enroll in Social Security. If you opt for Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medigap policies that you can buy from a private insurance company if you are enrolled in Medicare or Medicare Part G, but not Medicare Original, then you may need to buy them.