Medicare has been providing health insurance benefits to people age 65 and older, as well as people with disabilities under age 65 and those suffering from end-stage renal disease since 1966. This once easy-to-understand program (only two Parts – A and B) has grown in its scope and offerings, which can be confusing, even to experts in the health insurance field.
While Medicare covers many things, it does have gaps in coverage. A supplemental program, formerly called Medigap and now simply called Medicare Supplement, increases Medicare recipients’ medical buying power – covering things not paid for fully by Medicare Parts A or B, which are described below.
Part A – Pays for hospital, skilled nursing home, and hospice stays as well as home health care. This Part is provided at no charge.
Part B – Pays for medical care, such as doctor visits and outpatient care. This Part requires the recipient to pay a monthly premium.
Part C – Created in 1997, this Part allows recipients to opt for a health care insurer to manage their Medicare plan. Called Medicare Advantage Plan, it has lower or no monthly costs for recipients for Part B. However, the physician networks can be narrow and impose strict guidelines for copays and other costs.
Part D – Enacted in 2006, this Part is known as the Prescription Drug Benefit. It gives Medicare beneficiaries prescription drug coverage through a Medicare-approved private insurance company. Part D has a monthly premium.
There are many options for Medicare Supplement insurance, and wading through the various plans can be almost as confusing as Medicare itself. That’s where Cornerstone can help. Our familiarity with the various Medicare options allows us to tailor your health care insurance to your unique needs, giving you the most benefits for your money.