Medicare provides foundational health insurance protections, but many seniors purchase an additional Medicare supplement insurance policy. There are several different types of supplemental policies. Here are some features to check as you compare the different options.
Foreign Emergency Travel
Retirees who intend to travel during their senior years need to make sure they have health insurance coverage wherever they go. Standard Medicare doesn't necessarily cover travel-related emergency medical costs well, but some Medicare supplement plans do.
Few Medicare supplement insurance plans will cover the full cost of overseas emergency medical care, but several types of plans cover a good portion of such costs. Specifically, C, D, F, G, M, and N plans usually pay the majority of overseas medical costs. Other Medicare supplement plan types usually provide no coverage in other countries.
If you intend to travel internationally, make sure you select a plan type that covers overseas medical costs. You can switch plan types later in your senior years if you're no longer able to travel as much.
When you're traveling, a temporary travel insurance policy might cover the portion of overseas medical costs that these Medicare supplement plans don't. An insurance agent who's familiar with Medicare and travel insurance can help make sure you're properly covered while in other countries.
Medicare Part B Deductible
Medicare Part B is the portion of government-provided coverage for outpatient services. It covers a variety of simple surgeries, tests, and other treatments that can be done in a single day, and thus don't require an overnight stay at a facility.
Even though outpatient procedures are less costly than inpatient ones, the deductibles associated with any medical procedure can be substantial. Medicare supplement insurance plans C and F normally cover this deductible, but the others don't. These two line up with the travel coverage considerations noted above.
As medical technology advances, more and more procedures are able to be completed at outpatient facilities. You may thus want either the Plan C or Plan F Medicare supplement plans, since the likelihood of having an outpatient procedure performed increases as technology improves.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Medicare generally provides some coverage for skilled nursing facility care, but the coverage is limited and can restrict your choice of a facility should you ever need one. Select Medicare supplement insurance plans provide additional coverage for skilled nursing facilities.
In particular, Medicare supplement plans C, D, F, G, M, and N all cover skilled nursing care. Plans K and L provide reduced coverage for this type of care, and other plan types offer no coverage.
If you're of an age that skilled nursing care may become necessary, you probably should get one of the plan types that covers this. Reach out to a company like The Retirement Cafe to learn more.
You keep a copy of your insurance policy in your file drawer, but do you know how to read and understand the policy? Having an insurance policy will protect you from losses, but it won't protect you from all losses. To get a better understanding of what your policy will and will not cover, read through this blog. You will learn about all different types of insurance policies and learn the terminology used in the documents that you have read. Hopefully, by the time you have read through the content here, you will know exactly where your insurance policies are lacking so you can make changes.