Medicare is a comprehensive medical insurance option that covers many of the health care needs of its enrollees. Today, it stands as one of the most popular federal programs in the United States. With the introduction of Medicare Part C and Part D, beneficiaries’ coverage options have grown. So, if you have Medicare, is there a need for any other health insurance plans?
It’s an extremely worthwhile question to investigate. Each additional plan costs a premium, so sticking with Medicare alone could save you money. However, Medicare doesn’t cover every health care service you might require. If you need services that are more extensively — or only — covered by ancillary plans, it can be very expensive not to have additional coverage. That’s why figuring out if you need supplemental insurance with Medicare is a personal decision, which many people find is eased with the help of a licensed sales agent.
Here are a few supplemental insurance plans that you may want to consider purchasing.
Dental, Vision, and/or Hearing Insurance
Taking care of your teeth, eyes, and ears can save you money and discomfort down the road. Unfortunately, Original Medicare and Medicare Supplements, don’t really cover routine dental, vision, and hearing services and supplies. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, sometimes offer dental, vision, and hearing coverage, but it isn’t extremely comprehensive.
There are also plans that cover dental and vision services or dental, vision, AND hearing services.
If you’d like coverage for things like dental cleanings and fillings, routine eye exams, glasses or contacts, or hearing aids, you may want to consider buying additional insurance. A stand-alone dental or vision plan may be a good idea, depending on your needs and preferences. There are also plans that cover dental and vision services or dental, vision, AND hearing services, which can offer you more support should you need it.
Hospital Indemnity Insurance
While Medicare can cover many of your hospital costs, there are still a number of out-of-pocket expenses you may owe if you have to be hospitalized. These bills can add up fast, so an additional level of coverage could save you money and stress. For example, even if you’re covered by Medicare, you’ll still most likely need to pay something for each day you spend in the hospital, prescription drugs, health screenings, and surgeries. Your costs can rise even higher if you receive observation services.
It’s difficult to discuss specifics for hospital indemnity plans, since different plans cover different things, though this can allow you to find a plan that closely fits what you want.
Luckily, hospital indemnity insurance can provide you with a fixed amount of money to help pay for many of these costs, including your copays and deductibles, if you experience a qualifying event. That said, it’s difficult to speak in specifics when it comes to hospital indemnity plans, since different plans cover different things. This isn’t a negative, however, since it can allow you to find a plan that closely fits what you want.
Long-Term or Short-Term Care Insurance
Nobody wants to receive extended care, so if you have to, there’s a good chance you need it. Long-term care can be incredibly expensive on its own, especially if it’s for help with day-to-day tasks. If it’s not medically necessary, it’s unlikely that Medicare will cover your long-term care for you. Medicare may assist with medically necessary services that relate to long-term care, but it won’t cover services that help you with cleaning, dressing, and eating.
To be eligible for coverage, though, you must be healthy and young enough to pass underwriting.
If you think you may need this kind of support in the future, long-term care insurance may be a wise investment. It can pay for covered services for one year or up to an unlimited amount of time. To be eligible for coverage, though, you must be healthy and young enough to pass underwriting.
If long-term care insurance isn’t an option or you’d like a cheaper alternative, you may want to look at purchasing short-term care insurance. This type of coverage generally covers one year of qualifying care or less.
While not technically a health insurance, life insurance can cover an important coverage gap that shouldn’t be ignored. Medicare doesn’t cover life insurance at all, leaving your family to cover many of the costs related to your passing. And it’s quite a bill to foot, with funeral and any post-death expenses potentially being in the thousands. The national median cost for funerals is $7,181, and that doesn’t include certain burial and cemetery costs, which could rack up another $5,000.
In a way, with life insurance, you may be able to ensure their financially stability after you’ve gone.
Life insurance can leave your family with some protection from these costs. It also allows you to leave your loved ones an inheritance. In a way, with life insurance, you may be able to ensure their financially stability after you’ve gone. And luckily, plans can be very affordable and offer living benefits as well.
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Whether you need additional insurance plans to supplement your Medicare plan is largely up to you and your needs and preferences. Different plans offer different types and levels of coverage, so it’s important you review each option in depth before you decide. Even if you don’t need the policy right now, it may be prudent to pick one up.
Your Medicare plan may cover many of your medical needs and have your back when you need it most. But, it likely won’t cover everything. That’s why it’s always worth investigating all different types of insurance, in case something goes wrong. As with many things, the best advice is to hope for the best, and plan for the worst. With the right insurance plans, the worst can be covered.