Beautiful Springfield is prime real estate for seniors looking to retire in Illinois. Unfortunately, Medicare coverage gaps can make it difficult to find the time to breathe, let alone to enjoy your retirement. As your health worsens with age, you will most likely find yourself paying thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the Medicare coverage gaps. For many seniors who don’t have the option of going back to work, this increased financial burden can mean a near total loss of your financial and personal independence. On the bright side, there are two ways out: either through a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement insurance plan. You can securely safeguard yourself and your health against any unfortunate circumstances to come with either one of these plans – if you do it right.
Facts and Figures
- There are 18,465 seniors living in Springfield right now.
- There are 11 hospitals in the Springfield area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care.
- 21% of Illinois seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan.
- 33% of Illinois seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
- Which leaves 46% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!
Only a little more than half of seniors in the Springfield area have reliable access to healthcare. For the remaining 8,493 seniors, time is a powerful enemy. As you continue to age, your body’s ability to fight off age-related illnesses decreases, increasing the likelihood that you will be diagnosed with one or more age-related illnesses. Further compounding things is the fact that your existing symptoms will continue to worsen in both frequency and severity with age. The chart below showcases a few of the most common age-related illnesses and how prevalent they are in the Springfield area.
|Disease||Prevalence in Springfield, IL|
|High Blood Pressure||34%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||7%|
Healthcare Costs in Springfield, IL
With new age-related illnesses comes new age-related medical expenses. As you develop new symptoms and as your existing symptoms worsen in both frequency and severity, the amount of money that you spend on the treatment of those symptoms will increase. Even on the off-chance that your symptoms remain the exact same from one year to the next, you will most likely still find yourself paying more with each passing year. That’s because medical costs in general are on the rise, regardless of how frequently or infrequently you see the doctor. Combine those facts with the fact that seniors are living longer lives than ever before, there is an increasingly larger period of time in each person’s life for healthcare costs to increase. The chart below demonstrates just how expensive the aforementioned age-related illnesses can be if you rely on Original Medicare.
|Disease||Prevalence in Springfield, IL||Annual Cost of Treatment|
|High Blood Pressure||34%||$356|
|Coronary Heart Disease||7%||$9,382|
Medicare Advantage Savings in Springfield, IL
Medicare Advantage plans aim to make treatment of your illnesses as comprehensive and as worry-free as possible. This is done through the implementation of a private insurance plan that completely replaces your government insurance plan. Of course, the government still heavily regulates Medicare Advantage plans and the law requires that these plans provide – at the very minimum – the same level of care as Original Medicare plans. Furthermore, most providers of Medicare Advantage will offer the option to add additional coverage benefits to your plan on the condition that you pay higher premiums. But since the government takes care of most or all of your premiums, you can still end up paying no more than $0 per month for your healthcare coverage.
If you happen to be suffering from age-related arthritis, high blood pressure, or diabetes, the savings can be even greater. Through the purchase of prescription drug coverage and minor medical equipment coverage, you can obtain affordable access to healthcare necessities including glucose monitors and testing kits at little or no out-of-pocket cost, depending on your particular provider. These plans can be particularly desirable if you take a number of prescription medications that are too numerous or expensive to be affordably covered by Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. As the graph below shows, the benefits over the five- and ten-year periods can be incredibly valuable.
In order to save even more money in both the short and long term, you can add vision and dental care insurance to your Medicare Advantage plan. The ability to add these coverage options directly to your Medicare Advantage plan is one of the key differences between Medicare Advantage plans and the other two kinds of Medicare plans: Medicare Supplement Insurance and Original Medicare. While neither Medicare Supplement nor Original Medicare will provide more than the bare bones emergency services for vision and dental care, Medicare Advantage plans can be customized to cover just about every aspect of your vision and dental care needs.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Springfield, IL
Despite not being as versatile or all-encompassing as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement plans can still provide a valuable alternative to Original Medicare. With ten plans in all, there are a wide array of options from which to choose, each providing some sort of benefit related to Medicare Part A coverage gaps. Since Medicare Part A coverage gaps can be exceptionally expensive for seniors suffering from age-related kidney and/or heart disease; these plans can be perfect for seniors with one or more of those conditions.
The first of the Medigap plans that you should look into are Medicare Supplement plans A, D, K, and L. As mentioned above, each of these plans provides a great array of coverage options related to the coverage gaps of Medicare Part A. That said, they don’t provide much benefit of any kind related to Medicare Part B and its coverage gaps. In order to ensure that you are protected from the coverage gaps of both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you will have to look into one of the other remaining Medicare Supplement plans.
The Medigap plans that provide coverage for both Medicare Part A coverage gaps and Medicare Part B coverage gaps are Medicare Supplement insurance plans B, C, F, G, M, and N. Not only would one of these plans help you afford things like hospitalizations, blood transfusions, and skilled nursing care, you could also enjoy access to emergency services without having to worry about coverage gaps. Unfortunately, not all of these plans are destined to last. Medigap type F, for example, is set to be discontinued after 2020. In order to know which plans are certain to stick around and which are discontinuing new enrollment in the future, it is important to speak with a well-informed Medicare expert.
Although prescription drug coverage and vision and dental care coverage cannot be added directly to your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, there are a few ways in which you can still receive those coverage benefits. For prescription drug coverage, you should look into a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Many seniors on Medicare Part D have no problem satisfying their prescription medication needs. If you find yourself slipping into the “Donut Hole,” or coverage gap, of Medicare Part D, however, it might be a better idea to look into a Medicare Advantage plan. For vision and dental coverage, the process is much simpler. All you have to do is contact a private insurance provider who works in Springfield and enroll in a vision and dental care coverage plan. This can be done at any time in the year, since most providers don’t require vision and dental coverage plans to go through open-enrollment periods.
As circumstances worsen in the healthcare industry, prices increase, and your risk of developing new or worsening symptoms grows, it is more important than ever before to ensure that your healthcare is up to the challenge. Without a reliable form of health insurance, you could end up burning through your retirement savings and being bankrupt in no time. So don’t wait. Head over to Medigap.com and start on the path to safeguarding your financial future today.
|Medigap Plan||Minimum Monthly Premium||Maximum Monthly Premium||Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)|
|Plan F (high deductible)||$31||$91||$197|