You may be aware that when it comes to your retirement health insurance, there are more options than just Original Medicare. Original Medicare consists of Parts A and B, which provide hospital and outpatient medical coverage. While this coverage is certainly important, there are a few reasons we recommend considering additional coverage to Original Medicare.
- Original Medicare does not offer prescription drug coverage.
- Original Medicare leaves you responsible for certain deductibles, namely the Part A deductible, which amount to $1,316 in 2017.
- Original Medicare does not have an out-of-pocket maximum, which is a feature that protects you from catastrophic medical costs.
Secondary Coverage Options
One plan option that we help our clients investigate is a Medicare Supplement plan, also known as Medigap. There are multiple Medigap plan options you can choose from, and they all vary in price and thoroughness of coverage. These plans “fill in the gaps” of Original Medicare but do not cover prescription drugs. Therefore, most people also purchase stand-alone Prescription Drug plans.
Medicare Supplement plans tend to have expensive monthly premiums, but most offer thorough medical coverage and freedom to see any provider who accepts Original Medicare. Sometimes these plans make sense for individuals who have frequent doctor visits and/or chronic health issues.
Latest Trends with Medicare Advantage
Today in the health insurance industry, we are fortunate to have another strong option for retirees: private insurance plans known as Medicare Advantage.
Chart by the Kaiser Foundation
With the introduction of Medicare Part D in 2006, the Medicare Advantage program has grown significantly more popular (see the chart above). The success of the Medicare Advantage program is important for insurance companies, and its continued success deepens the strength and stability of Medicare Advantage plans.
While some Medicare Advantage plans have undergone changes and tweaks to their provider networks in the past, we have observed significant stability in the networks over the last couple years. Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans continue to have competitive out-of-pocket maximums that protect members from high out of pocket medical costs.
In short, Medicare Advantage has become a program that retirees can rely on. We have high expectations for continued stability of Medicare Advantage plans going into 2018.
Please let us know if you have any questions! Our Client Services Team is available at 1-877-222-1942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.