There seems to a labyrinth of information on services for seniors. Every which way you go it seems that there is more information, that it’s easier to do nothing than something. I did a little digging around and found that senior health services are really not that complicated. Sure, you say, but I’ll hold your hand and walk you through it.
What are My Over 65 Healthcare Options?
Healthcare options for boomers 65 and over that work in conjunction with Medicare are Retirement insurance, Railroad Insurance, VA Benefits, Medicaid, Job-based Insurance, and private insurance such as Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Prescription Plans. This article is focused on private health plans outside of work or government funding.
What is Medigap and Medicare Advantage?
These are two plans that you can purchase through private companies. You must remember you cannot have Medigap and Medicare Advantage at the same time.
Medigap, also called Medicare Supplement Plans, is a federally standardized insurance plans that fills in the gaps. Medigap (depending on coverage) covers blood transfusions, deductibles, co-insurance, foreign emergency healthcare, and other cost saving health items. It works with a nationwide network of doctors and hospitals.
Medicare Advantage, also called Medicare Part C, is private insurance that covers some areas that Medicare doesn’t. Its low-cost premiums are an attractive option, however you are responsible for deductibles and copays, as well as working in an HMO-type, local network.
Medigap is Federally Standardized?
Medigap plans are standardized plans. They offer basic to comprehensive coverage and are the same, YES, I said the same, with every health provider. What this means for you is, you get to choose based on price and don’t have to worry that you are sacrificing coverage for price. To read more about Medigap read Ray Wilson’s article Medigap A and Medigap F: Which is Best?
What about these Prescription Plans?
Medicare Advantage generally offers Rx coverage as part of the package. However, Medicare and Medigap do not cover prescriptions drug plans. So, pick one of those, as well.
Hate to tell you I told you so, but it is pretty simple.