So you’re turning 65, and you may be asking yourself “Do I need a Medicare Supplement.” The answer is yes. Your Original Medicare benefits will only cover about 80% of your eligible medical expenses. In this post, we’ll look at two of the potentially costliest Medicare Supplement benefits you cannot afford not to cover.
Medicare Part A Deductible
Not having coverage for your Medicare Part A Deductible can be costly. Before Medicare pays any expenses under your Part A benefits, you must first pay your Part A Deductible. In 2016 the deductible is $1,288. Something most enrollees don’t know is the deductible is per benefit period. A Benefit Period begins the first day you enter the hospital and ends 60 days after leaving the hospital. Although highly unlikely, it is possible to have up to five benefit periods per year. All standardized Medicare Supplement Plans, with the exception of Plan A, will cover all or a portion of your Medicare Part A Deductible, no matter how often you have to pay it.
Medicare Part B Coinsurance
Not covering your Medicare Part B Coinsurance sets up for a tremendous financial burden. This benefit pays for care given in or out of the hospital, including outpatient treatment, such as doctor services, supplies, speech and physical therapy, diagnostic tests, and durable medical equipment. Even though Medicare covers 80% of these expenses, with the high cost of today’s medical treatment your medical bills can add up quickly. An overnight stay in the hospital may involve numerous high-end diagnostic tests, such as MRI’s and cat scans. Each of these tests requires a highly trained specialist to administer. Depending on your condition you will likely require the attention of multiple caregivers and doctors. Currently, the average cost for a one-night hospital stay is $10,000. Now imagine the cost of a multi-day stay. Fortunately, Medicare Part B Coinsurance is covered 100% by all of the standardized Medicare Supplement Plans.
You Need a Medicare Supplement
If cost is an issue, at the very least you need a Medicare Supplement to cover these two basic benefits. Before purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan be sure to compare all of the available options in your area. Rates can vary drastically between the different plans and companies.