Parts A and B of traditional Medicare are constantly made messy with expensive gaps in coverage. So what happens when patients, especially the elderly, fall victim of those gaps? They have to end up paying large sums out of pocket, and the costs can be astronomical. When considering chronic conditions and the elderly, we aren’t discussing a fight for extra pennies. These gaps can cost entire life savings. The only way to protect yourself from such expenses right now is to purchase a comprehensive Medicare supplement insurance plan. As a citizen of Alabama, you have additional things to consider when choosing the most well-suited policy for you.
Senior Medicare in Mobile: Facts and Figures
- There are 30,331 senior citizens living in Mobile right now
- There are 9 hospitals in the Mobile area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care
- 36% of Alabama seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan
- 25% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan
- Which leaves 49% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
Unfortunate as it may be, we all know that chronic ailments become more prevalent as we age. It is what happens when the human body ceases functioning the same way it once did. Usually, these are the kinds of diseases which people carry for the rest of their lives, as well as the associated costs. As though that isn’t difficult enough, it is entirely likely that you may have more than one of these diseases at a time. This can lead to medical bills that can cripple even the most financially prepared, especially if they are underinsured. This chart below lists the most common chronic diseases in seniors in Mobile, Alabama.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Mobile)|
|High Blood Pressure||43%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||8%|
Healthcare Costs in Mobile, AL
Everyone is concerned with getting the best healthcare for the best available price. Prescription drugs, blood sugar monitors, patient care during hospital stays, outpatient surgeries, general doctor visits, each one of these add to the cost. Seniors are living longer lives, but this great news can become just more time to pay bills. Since medical costs continue to rise every year, each year a senior lives will cost them more and more. Considering this, it’s understandable how fast costs become unmanageable, even for those who have saved ahead of time. It is vital to understand today’s health care options for seniors, in order to protect your life and health into the golden years.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Mobile)||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||43%||$288|
|Coronary Heart Disease||8%||$7,468|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Mobile, AL
Medicare Advantage is not government issued, but it is government approved. Technically, it is a separate insurance plan, with unique benefits. But instead of you paying your full premium out-of-pocket like most people with private insurance, you’ll get your monthly premium subsidized by the government. This subsidy can make your monthly premium cost as low as $0 a month in some cases. Medicare Advantage covers – at minimum – Medicare Parts A & B, but many also offer add-on benefits for an additional premium.
Elderly people with chronic ailments have stated in interviews that they feel their coverage is better with Medicare Advantage plans than with Traditional Medicare. Arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes – to name a few – require close, daily monitoring and constant effort to control. This can mean required medications, testing equipment, and a few extra doctor and hospital visits, among other things. As these conditions get progressively worse, they wind up costing more and more. Certain Medicare Advantage plans can cover even more than a Medicare plan, even those which include extras like Part D. It’s your time to start saving with a Medicare Advantage plan , in order to be ready for the future, today.
Medicare Advantage plans can offer more inclusive benefits than Traditional Medicare alone. They can include doctor visits, testing equipment, and prescriptions. Many such plans also have an option to add dental or vision coverage as well. Since the government pays a portion of the premium, the cost can be drastically reduced, and in some instances even as low as $0 a month! Copays and coinsurance still come from out-of-pocket, and there are bound to be items not covered by your policy, no matter how comprehensive it is.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Mobile, AL
Medigap policies can help to save so much money because they work differently than other policies, particularly when it comes to Medicare Part A. The most difficult conditions – like kidney failure or coronary heart disease – can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, even potentially reaching six figures. And that’s just for hospital and inpatient stays, not including any continual care outside of the hospital. If you have to remain in the hospital for a longer period of time, or have an outpatient procedure that isn’t covered (like a blood transfusion), those aren’t covered under normal Medicare Part A. That is why you need to invest in supplemental coverage like Medigap to keep important coverages and protect against extra medical expenses.
There are four Medigap plans designed to cover Part A of Medicare. These are A, D, K, and L. Other plans can cover gaps in Part A as well as gaps in Part B, which are explained below. If you don’t believe you will have Medicare Part B costs, then you may be able to save more. Plans which cover only Part A are available at a lower cost, so this could save considerable money over time.
Additional Medigap plans which are available now are Plans B, C, F, G, M, and N. They cover Part A as well as differing portions of Part B costs. Naturally, the more coverage your plan provides, the greater monthly premium will be. This can also mean fewer out-of-pocket costs when unexpected costs arise, both for Parts A and B. A couple bucks more could save maybe thousands in medical bills, depending on the ailment. Plan F will be retiring at the end of 2020, and you cannot enroll in it after December of 2020 if you are new to Medicare.
Medicare Part B has gaps as well. Part A is supposed to care for hospitals and inpatient procedures; Part B is designed to cover everything outside of that. Such services include outpatient operations, check-ups, small pieces of medical equipment, and so on. Still, co-pays, coinsurance, and yearly premiums for Medicare Part B can be expensive themselves, so much so that just a few items can become expensive and difficult to acquire easily. That’s why there are Medigap plans which are designed to reduce Medicare Part B expenses so you don’t get bogged down financially.
Medigap supplement insurance does not provide for prescription drugs, dental care, or vision needs. However, Medicare does allow seniors to choose Part D, which is intended to cover prescription drugs. This is offered to anyone eligible for Medicare, whether or not you have another Medicare plan. With some research, it’s relatively simple to find affordable dental and vision plans with discounts for seniors. So just because Medigap plans don’t automatically offer these additional coverages doesn’t mean you can’t get them, especially at an affordable rate.
For all elderly citizens in Mobile, Alabama, it is of dire importance that you understand the benefits of supplemental health plans. These plans can make the difference between enjoying your golden years or having them bogged down in debt. The ever-increasing cost of medicine and health care is beyond anyone’s control, but we can control how we prepare. You must find a Medicare supplement policy that fits your unique needs, and doesn’t break the bank. That’s exactly what we want to help you do.
|Medigap Plan||Minimum Monthly Premium||Maximum Monthly Premium||Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)|
|Plan F (high deductible)||$27||$56||$177|