Holes in Medicare Parts A and B can be enough to send even the most well-budgeted retirees to the thrift stores without the proper insurance coverage. So how can cautious seniors save their hard-earned savings? This isn’t just a fight for assets, but a fight for the lives of seniors throughout Colorado. In Colorado Springs, there are assuredly more challenges than most in finding the best available coverage.
Senior Medicare in Colorado Springs: Facts and Figures
- There are 60,031 senior citizens living in Colorado Springs right now
- There 11 hospitals in the Colorado Springs area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care
- 37% of Colorado seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan
- 17% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan
- Which leaves 46% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
When the human body reaches maturity and past, changes continue in our physiological makeup. Some things just begin to break down after so many years, no matter how good of a condition their owner tries to keep them in. Those types of sicknesses are the sort which never quite get better because there is no ‘cure’, only continuing treatment and management. People with those illnesses can still live perfectly full, happy lives, but the cost of managing a prolonged disease is not an inexpensive one, especially if there is more than one illness at once. Below are the most frequent chronic diseases in Colorado Springs.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Colorado Springs)|
|High Blood Pressure||25%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||5%|
Healthcare Costs in Colorado Springs, CO
Of course, all of us are concerned with getting the proper care and the cost of that care. Prescriptions, monitors, patient care while in the hospital, outpatient, general visits, all of these add to the entire cost. Seniors are living longer, but at times that can become just more time to pay more bills, since medical costs continue to rise annually. Considering those two factors, it’s understandable how costs can quickly become unmanageable for even those who have saved ahead of time. It is vital to be informed about today’s health care options for seniors, in order to protect your life and health into your golden years.
|Disease||Prevalence (in Colorado Springs)||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||25%||$359|
|Coronary Heart Disease||5%||$7,762|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Colorado Springs, CO
The federal government has approved Medicare Advantage, which is a non-government administered private health insurance plan. The costs of your individual insurance are not directly paid for by the government, but instead the government pays their share towards your monthly premium and you pay the remaining medical costs on your own. Legally, your insurance must cover at least the identical benefits you would get if you were on federally mandated Medicare Parts A & B. Most non-government insurers add additional benefits like vision or dental, for a premium.
Seniors with chronic ailments have stated that they feel the coverage is better for their needs with Medicare Advantage plans. Most chronic diseases – for instance, arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes – mandate constant management and effort to control. This can include medications, equipment for testing, and an increased number of doctor and hospital visits, among others. Sadly, these conditions tend to get progressively worse, which ends up costing more and more as time goes by. There are Medicare Advantage plans which can cover even more than a Medicare plan which includes extras, like Part D. It is time to start saving with Medicare Advantage, in order to be prepared when the time arrives.
Not only do Medicare Advantage plans cover as much as Medicare Parts A and B; they can potentially cover even more. This can be doctor visits, various equipment, a prescription plan, or a combination of the three, plus more for most Medicare Advantage policies. Also, most plans come with the option to add dental or vision coverage to the policy you select. The government in turn subsidizes your monthly premium, allowing you to get a deep discount on Medicare Advantage plans. There is even the potential for a payment of $0 a month. Copays and coinsurance will still be patient expenses, and out-of-pocket costs will apply for the few items that your insurance does not cover.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Colorado Springs, CO
There is another type of policy called Medigap, which is a Medicare supplement. They work a bit differently to a Medicare Advantage policy, but they can still save a great amount of money, particularly when covering gaps in Medicare Part A. The biggest chronic conditions, like coronary heart disease or kidney disease, can cost thousands just for the stay in the hospital and treatments while there. These stays can be incredibly long, and after a certain point, traditional Medicare stops coverage. You will have to have some sort of backup coverage, or face paying astronomical costs to continue care.
Right now, there are four plans designed to cover the gaps in Part A of Medicare. These plans are A, D, K, and L. They are designed to save you money, while keeping you protected. Other plans offered cover gaps in Part A as well as Part B, but more on that below. If you don’t expect Medicare Part B to have extraneous costs and are more concerned about hospital says and associated expenses, you should know that Medigap policies which cover only Part A gaps are less expensive than others. The lower monthly cost could save even more money over time.
Medigap plans B, C, D, F, G, M, and N, cover gaps in Medicare Part A as well as select aspects of gaps in Medicare Part B. The more in-depth coverage your plan offers, the higher your monthly premium will be. However, this also means fewer out-of-pocket expenses and unexpected financial hits. Take note, Plan F is retiring soon, and will not be available for enrollment after the year 2020.
But what gaps are there in Medicare Part B? We know Part A is hospital stays and inpatient care, so what is left for B? Nearly everything else. Any outpatient procedures, specialist check-ups, medical or therapeutic gear, supplies or necessities. These are all supposed to be covered under Medicare Part B, but of course, there are always exceptions like copays and coinsurance. Still, there are Medigap plans designed to pitch in with those sorts of costs.
Medicare Advantage offers plans which cover incidental costs with prescriptions, dental, or vision coverages. Medicare supplement (or Medigap) plans do not. Medicare itself does give the option for Part D coverage which is very inclusive for many types of prescription medications. A quick online search can uncover excellent local sources of dental or vision insurers which offer discounts to seniors.
For Colorado Springs seniors, it is imperative that they have the proper amount of health coverage, and at an affordable price for all. It protects you, your savings, and your family from any additional and unnecessary hardship or financial burden. Our health and rising costs to cover it are factors beyond any one person’s control. However, we can control how we prepare for the future. A Medicare coverage gap policy is the best way to do that, and we want to help you find the best policy for tomorrow’s needs, today.
|Medigap Plan||Minimum Monthly Premium||Maximum Monthly Premium||Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)|
|Plan F (high deductible)||$31||$89||$196|