Medicare Supplement Plans Learn More to Increase Your Coverage Options

Managing health care expenses

Are you planning to retire soon? A 2015 CareerBuilder survey showed that 54% of individuals 60 and older will continue working after they retire from their current position. While 81% of the participants stated they would probably work part-time, 19% are considering full-time employment.

One of the reasons why many retirement-aged individuals may be choosing to continue working is in order to maintain their employer-based healthcare coverage. A January 2015 Gallup poll found that 2 in 5 people under the age of 65 had employer-based coverage.

Medicare Enrollment

On a daily basis, approximately 10,000 people in the United States aged 65 and older enroll in Medicare, according to a 2015 report by The Commonwealth Fund. This figure pertains to individuals that are enrolling for the first time.

In 2015, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicated that this enrollment may be automatic, and a recipient will receive a red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail. This card should arrive approximately 3 months prior to a person’s 65th birthday. In the case of disability, however, the card should arrive during the 25th month. There are also open enrollment periods and individuals can apply online.

Medicare Coverage and Plans

It’s important to note that Medicare doesn’t cover everything. There are different Medicare plans that are designed to address specific services, supplies, and prescription medications, according to These include Plans A, B, C, and D.

Medicare Part A Provisions

Medicare Part A, which provides hospital insurance, covers care in the following settings:

  • Inpatient hospital stays
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Hospice care
  • Some types of home health care situations

Medicare Plan B Provisions

Medicare Part B is basic medical insurance. It provides coverage for the following types of services, including medical supplies:

  • Specific physicians’ services
  • Outpatient care
  • Preventative services

In 2015, The Commonwealth Fund reported that preventative services, which includes flu shots as well as screenings for cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, were received for free by approximately 37 million Medicare recipients in 2013.

Medicare Part C Provisions

Medicare Part C is referred to as the Medicare Advantage Plan. This coverage is obtained through a private company that is contracted by Medicare in order to provide access to the level of coverage that is available through Parts A and B. In addition to offering prescription drug coverage, this plan covers most of the services that are unavailable through Original Medicare.

Medicare Part D Provisions

Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage through a private, Medicare-approved insurance company. While there are some restrictions, Part D may be added to the following plans:

  • Original Medicare
  • Medicare Cost Plans
  • Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans

In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicated that an individual needs to personally spend $4,700 before being out of the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap. This amount was $4,850 for 2016. After this occurs, an individual will be able to qualify for “catastrophic coverage.”

Medicare also indicated that in 2016, an enrollee needed to pay 45% of the price of brand-named drugs; there was no change from 2015 in this regard. Enrollees needed to pay 58% of the price of generic drugs, however, which represents a decrease of 65% from 2015.

Supplement Plans

Once Medicare is received, however, supplement plans are important to consider. These may be necessary or desired in order to receive access to services and medications that Medicare doesn’t cover.

If you know, or anticipate, that you will have a gap in your coverage, you may be interested in short term insurance. When you opt for short term insurance, it can provide you with the coverage you need while waiting to qualify for Medicare. Furthermore, short term coverage can also be beneficial when you have been dropped from an existing policy and are searching for a new service provider.

In order to find out more information about short term insurance as well as Medicare supplement plans, it’s important to speak to an insurance agency that is able to provide Medicare supplement policies. Once you learn more about short term insurance and supplement plans, you will be able to make an informed decision on the best type of coverage for you.

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