For seniors, a key source is Medicare, the federal program for people age 65 and over.
But Medicare doesn’t cover everything.
“What the government pays in benefits doesn’t always cover what the doctors and hospitals charge,” said Bob Moos, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “People with traditional Medicare must pay deductibles and often 20 percent of the cost of their doctor visits and tests.”
Those out-of-pocket expenses can add up. To bridge the gap, you can buy Medigap insurance, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Medigap insurance helps pay some of the health care costs or “gaps” that Medicare doesn’t cover.
There’s one important distinction to make: A Medigap policy isn’t the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan, which is a health plan offered by a private insurance company that contracts with Medicare. Prescription drug coverage, hospital insurance and medical coverage are included.
“Not everyone should consider buying a Medigap policy,” Moos said. “You don’t need to supplement your Medicare coverage if you’re on Medicaid or signed up for a private Medicare Advantage plan or enrolled in a group health plan through an employer or former employer.”
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The article explains that there are 10 different Medigap plans and what to look for beyond the initial costs. Also Medigap does not cover drugs. You will need a Medicare Part D plan for that. Along with ideas to ehlp you make and informed decision, you will also find government information links.