How to Buy an Individual Health Medicare Supplement Plans
Individual health Medicare Supplement plansis vital to help
you pay for your healthcare when you get sick or injured. Keep in mind that the
cost of an emergency visit can be thousands. Without a health plan, it can be
difficult for you to handle all expenses.
Some people have gone through bankruptcy because of their
medical costs. Thus, to avoid such a thing, make sure that you obtain a health
plan to protect you against unexpected events.
Thankfully, there is the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare
that can protect you and your family.
a Health Plan
The open enlistment period for 2020 health plans in most
states will start on November 1, 2019, and ends on December 15, 2019. You need
to wait for that period to start before you can purchase a plan.
Before 2014, you could buy an individual health plan at any
time. That is, there was no open enlistment to remember. But the healthcare
reform changed that. Now, you need to buy coverage within the open enrollment
In some states, they extend the length of time in accepting
people’s application for health insurance. For instance, in California, you are
given from October 15, 2019, to January 15, 2020, to send your application.
These are the other states that offer extended open
- Colorado and D.C.: Both start on
November 1, 2019. However, the enlistment ends on January 15, 2020, in
Colorado. In D.C., it stops on January 31, 2020.
- Massachusetts: The period starts on
November 1, 2019, and stops on January 23, 2020.
- Minnesota and Rhode Island: They both
start on November 1, 2019, and will end on December 23, 2019.
- New York: It begins on November 1,
2019, and ends on January 31, 2020. It is one of the longest open enrollment
In some cases, you may miss the deadline. If you missed it,
you cannot purchase a plan. You will have to wait for the next enrollment
period. However, if you have a qualifying life event, you can purchase a plan
outside the open enlistment dates.
To qualify for a special enrollment period, you need to
have these qualifying life events:
- Getting married
- Moving to a new state
- Having a baby
- Adopting a child
- Job loss
- Losing eligibility for the Children’s
Health Medicare Supplement plansProgram (CHIP)
- Becoming an Indian tribe member
If you think that you have a qualifying life event, make
sure to talk to an Medicare Supplement plansagent to help you out. The tax
penalty for not having health Medicare Supplement planshas been lifted. But you
must have at least a medical coverage to protect you from financial loss in
case you get sick or injured.
The health care reform mandates insurers to provide medical
coverage for anyone, regardless of a pre-existing condition. In that case, you
can have health insurance, despite being pregnant or suffering from a serious
health condition. No insurers can deny you coverage. They are also not allowed
to impose huge charges if you have a pre-existing condition.
All Medicare supplement plans must cover these.
- Outpatient healthcare
- Emergency room visits
- Mental health
- Equipment when recovering from a chronic condition
- Laboratory tests
- Pediatric services
- Preventive services
Health Medicare Supplement plansTypes
Health Medicare Supplement plans varies depending on the healthcare costs that it can handle. They are divided into five categories under the Affordable Care Act marketplace. Here are the metal levels that you must be aware of:
- Bronze: You will pay 40% of the
healthcare costs while 60% will be settled by your health insurer.
- Silver: Your share will be 30% and the
health Medicare Supplement plansprovider will take care of the remaining 70%.
- Gold: Your insurer will pay 80% of the
healthcare cost while the remaining 20% will be handled by you.
- Platinum: You will only pay 10% of the
healthcare cost while 90% is paid by your health insurer.
If you want a higher premium, you will pay lower
out-of-pocket expenses. This option is perfect if you do not go to your doctor
or rarely visit a hospital. The expenses would include deductibles,
co-insurance, and co-payments. After closely examining the metal state levels, the
platinum plans will give you lower out-of-pocket expenses. However, the bronze
level will require higher expenses but a lower monthly premium.
Among the four plans, the most popular ones are bronze and
silver. Platinum plans are rarely chosen. The reason for this is the higher
premium cost. However, these plans are useful if you frequently visit your
doctor or hospital. In a report, eHealth stated that the average monthly cost
of a bronze plan is $440 while silver is $482. The platinum plans have an
average cost of $706 while gold has $596.
When deciding what metal level you choose, you must study
your previous healthcare need and anticipate your medical care for next year. In terms of plan design, the most common is the Health
Maintenance Organization (HMO). The Preferred Provider Organization is more
common among employer-sponsored health policies.
Medicare Supplement plansOptions
You should go to comparison sites or contact a health Medicare
Supplement plansagent if you are ready to purchase a plan. You may also visit
your state’s health Medicare Supplement plansmarketplace. Another option is to
go to the provider’s website directly. If you are qualified for subsidies, opt to purchase a
health plan through the marketplace. You may qualify for a discounted premium.
to Consider When You Compare Health Plans
it is structured?
When you are in the process of picking a plan, you have
four options to choose from. They are categorized into premium costs and
out-of-pocket expenses. Once you have evaluated them, it will be easy for you
to decide whether to choose a higher premium plan or out-of-pocket expenses.
belongs to the network plan?
Check your plan’s network to know which healthcare
providers belong to the network. You may wish to consider a plan that includes
your healthcare provider.
to know about the coverage?
Each plan has its own coverage items. Make sure that you
check the items. If you are taking a lot of medicines, opt for a plan that
covers the drugs you are taking.
are the out-of-pocket expenses?
There are three vital expenses you must know. The
deductible is one. It is the payment that you must settle before your plan
starts paying for your healthcare cost. The copayment is the amount you need to
pay each time you visit a hospital or doctor’s office. Co-Medicare Supplement
plansis the percentage of healthcare costs after you have met the deductible.
is the yearly Premium?
Make sure to study the yearly premium of the plan you wish to obtain. When considering a plan, always compare it with your
current healthcare needs. Then, evaluate the cost of premiums as well as
out-of-pocket expenses you can afford.