The importance of affordable health insurance cannot be stressed enough. People without insurance who have paid for medical costs will vouch for that. The criticality of this matter can be seen in the policies the Obama administration set forth, where they made it easy for people to get insurance and, at the same time, penalized those that did not opt for it. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for health insurance by the general population can be felt even more. During these past several months, the sheer number of people infected and requiring intensive medical treatment has been an eye-opener regarding the uncertainty of global pandemics. People who have health insurance have comparatively had some peace of mind.
The need for comprehensive insurance is more significant in the elderly population as they are most susceptible to the Corona Virus. Luckily the government offers the Medicare program specifically for people in the high-danger age, meaning those individuals who are 65 and above. However, there are still requirements and premiums that need to be paid; we will discuss the Medicare policy and how Medigap or Medicare Supplement Parts can be of benefit during the golden years.
Medicare Cheap Health Insurance
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is available to citizens over the age of 65 and consists of 2 parts – Part A or hospital insurance and Part B that is medical insurance. Together this is known as Medicare Original and is a cheap health insurance option for the elderly to cover the following:
Part A Includes Coverage for:
- Inpatient Care
- Nursing Facility Care
- Hospice or Nursing Home Care
- Home Health Care
Part B Includes Coverage for:
- Clinical Research
- Physician visits
- Ambulance Services
- Some Medical Equipment Costs
- Inpatient, Outpatient and Partial hospitalization in case of Mental Health Issues
- A Few Outpatient Prescription Drugs
Medicare Original Premiums
Usually, people don’t have to pay for Part A if they or their spouse has paid Medicare taxes for a specific time while working. If in case you have not paid the required amount of taxes and do not qualify for free Part A, then you can purchase Part A by paying up to $458 each month. If you have paid the taxes for less than seven years (30 Quarters), then the standard Part A premium is $458. If you paid the Medicare taxes for 7.5 years to less than ten years or 30 to 39 Quarters, the standard premium is $252.
Everyone who opts for Part B needs to pay a premium as it is not free. The standard amount for Part B in 2020 is $144.60. However, in cases where your gross income exceeds a certain amount, you will need to pay an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) on top of the regular premium amount.
For more details, you can visit medicare.gov, or if you would like free advice and consultation regarding the best option according to your need and budget, then sites like thebenefitlink.com are the best option.
Medigap and Private Health Insurance Companies
When you are 65 and don’t have a part-time job or on a limited income, certain things that Medicare does not cover can be a problem. Medicare covers up to 80% of the costs; there are still some things you need to pay for, such as Copayments, Coinsurance and any Deductibles. To cover these gaps, Medicare, in association with private health insurance companies, provides Medigap or Medicare supplemental insurance. Medicare offers ten standard Medigap insurance plans – A, B, C, D, F, G, H, K, L, M and N; they have different benefits that are set by the US govt. However, all ten plans offer the following:
- Coinsurance for Part A and hospitalization charges up to an additional year (365 days) after Medicare benefits are exhausted.
- Coinsurance and CoPayment for Part B
- Coinsurance and copayment for Hospice Care in Part A
- First 3 Pints of Blood (Medicare does not pay for the first 3 pints of blood that a patient receives during hospitalization)
Please note like Medicare, Medigap does not cover services not included in Medicare. If you would like to have additional coverage of these health and medical services, you can search for Medicare Advantage Plans.