In accordance with Merriam-Webster something that’s supplemental is something that supplements, or “completes or makes and addition” to something that lacking. Medicare Supplemental insurance does exactly that. It completes what is without the insurance that’s offered by Medicare.
If you should be turning 65, or when you yourself have been disabled for 24 months (receiving disability advantages from Social Security), you almost certainly qualify for Medicare (the government run medical health insurance program for the disabled and older people). The thing is, Medicare doesn’t purchase all of your healthcare costs. Following are a few of the costs not covered by Original Medicare (Medicare alone):
1. Your Part A Deductible
In 2010, the deductible for Medicare Part A (in-patient hospital insurance) is $1,100. This deductible applies to each “benefit period” which is 60 days in length. Here is an illustration:
Martha did not have Medicare Supplemental insurance and she had to get into a healthcare facility for 4 days because she was having some chest apply for medicare online pains and her doctor wanted to execute a procedure to remove some arterial blockage. Before some of the bills were paid, Martha had to cover $1,100 as a deductible.
61 days after Martha was hospitalized, she had to return to a healthcare facility for a separate sickness. Because her 60 day benefit period had passed, she had to cover another $1,100 deductible.
2. Your Part B Deductible
The Part B deductible applies to “out-patient” expenses (like visits with your doctor). This deductible is $155 per year. Because Martha saw her doctor before he admitted her to a healthcare facility, in a healthcare facility, she also had to cover this deductible, plus 20% of her doctor’s fees. Martha’s doctor ordered some tests, such as an MRI and an EKG. When he didn’t like what he saw, he sent her to see a cardiologist. She also had to cover 20% of his fee.
3. Your Part B Coinsurance
Medicare is truly an 80/20 plan. What this signifies is that Medicare pays 80% of your out-patient expenses and you pay 20%. In cases like this, Martha had to cover 20% of the doctor’s bills (including the specialists she saw) and 20% of the cost for many of her diagnostic tests, like the MRI she received before she was hospitalized.
In Martha’s case, her total bill with this incident was over $2,400, because she did not have a Supplemental insurance policy. If Martha had Medicare Supplemental insurance, and specifically a Medicare Supplement Plan F, she would not have had to pay for any of these costs. Besides her Part B premium ($110.50 each month in 2010), and her Medicare Supplement premiums (in Martha’s case, it would have been $154 per month), all of Martha’s deductibles and co-insurance would have been paid by the insurance company.