Health insurance is quite a hot topic these days, as “ObamaCare” comes into effect with the specific goal of making health insurance affordable for the masses. In 1965 a different type of government-mandated health insurance, Medicare, came into effect with a similar, though more narrow goal – to make health insurance both possible and more affordable for Americans over 65 and those with disabilities. If you’re a Medicare user, however, you may have noticed that while coverage is guaranteed, not every service is covered, and there are still some potentially burdensome expenses associated with the coverage. Fortunately, in the state of Maryland there are several ways in which those with Medicare can supplement their health insurance to either save money or enjoy coverage on additional services. To learn more about specific plans available in your area, fill out the zip code form to compare plans and rates instantly.
If you’re looking for a health insurance plan that covers more services and healthcare providers than traditional Medicare does, a Medicare Advantage plan may be precisely what you need. Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, offers seniors and disabled Medicare recipients a range of insurance plans including HMOs and PPOs, each of which provides coverage of services and healthcare providers that aren’t covered in the standard Medicare package. Medicare Advantage policies vary from county to county in Maryland, so if you’re considering this type of policy make sure to shop around in your area only. Likewise, prices and coverage vary from plan to plan, so consider your budget and health needs before making a commitment.
According to reports from the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 61,000 Maryland residents were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2011, a solid percentage of the 794,039 state residents covered by Medicare, and a 6% increase from the number of enrollees in 2010. Still, the expense associated with Medicare Advantage makes it prohibitive for some Medicare recipients, and others find such plans unnecessary if they don’t need many of the services covered. For these Maryland residents, Medigap may present a better option for Medicare supplemental insurance. To determine which kind of Medicare supplemental insurance is best for you, fill out the zip code form and compare plans and rates instantly.
More popular than Medicare Advantage, Medigap was chosen by approximately 21% of Maryland’s Medicare recipients in 2011. Unlike Medicare Advantage, Medigap policies in Maryland don’t cover services that aren’t covered by traditional Medicare plans such as hearing services or dental care. Instead, Medigap serves only as a way to supplement the costs associated with Medicare such as deductibles and copays. Medigap policies are uniform in coverage no matter what provider you choose, but the prices may vary depending on which company provides the coverage. For this reason alone, it’s important to research your options carefully before choosing a Medigap plan. Medigap is available to anyone who is covered by Medicare parts A and B, but is not available to anyone with end stage renal disease or Medicaid.
A significant advantage of Medigap plans is that they have a guaranteed acceptance; even for those with pre-existing health conditions, and that Medigap customers can cancel their plan for any reason within the first 30 days for a full refund.
Enrollment periods for both Medigap and Medicaid are determined by the federal government and are subject to change each year. In 2012 enrollment will be from October 15 through December 7, and the plans will come into effect on January 1, 2013. Medicare recipients can also opt for a Medicare supplement during their initial enrollment period, from 6 months before their 65th birthday until 6 months afterwards. A special enrollment period may be available for anyone who moves to Maryland or within Maryland and needs to choose a new plan. Fill out the zip code form for details on plan specifics and to compare rates instantly.
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