Based on Merriam-Webster something that’s supplemental is something that supplements, or “completes or makes and addition” to something that lacking. Medicare Supplemental insurance does exactly that. It completes what’s with a lack of the insurance that’s provided by Medicare.
If you should be turning 65, or when you have been disabled for 24 months (receiving disability advantages of Social Security), you probably qualify for Medicare (the government run medical insurance program for the disabled and older people). The problem is, Medicare does not buy all of your medical care costs. Following are a number of the costs not covered by Original Medicare (Medicare alone):
1. Your Part A Deductible
In 2010, the deductible for Medicare Part A (in-patient hospital insurance) is $1,100. This deductible applies to each “benefit period” which can be 60 days in length. Here’s a good example:
Martha did not need Medicare Supplemental insurance and she had to go into the hospital for 4 days because she was having some chest medicare part b premiums pains and her doctor wanted to execute a procedure to eliminate some arterial blockage. Before the bills were paid, Martha had to pay $1,100 as a deductible.
61 days after Martha was hospitalized, she had to go back to the hospital for another sickness. Because her 60 day benefit period had passed, she had to pay another $1,100 deductible.
2. Your Part B Deductible
The Part B deductible applies to “out-patient” expenses (like visits with your doctor). This deductible is $155 per year. Because Martha saw her doctor before he admitted her to the hospital, in the hospital, she also had to pay this deductible, plus 20% of her doctor’s fees. Martha’s doctor ordered some tests, such as an MRI and an EKG. When he didn’t like what he saw, he sent her to visit a cardiologist. She also had to pay 20% of his fee.
3. Your Part B Coinsurance
Medicare is actually an 80/20 plan. What this signifies is that Medicare pays 80% of one’s out-patient expenses and you spend 20%. In cases like this, Martha had to pay 20% of the doctor’s bills (including the specialists she saw) and 20% of the price for a lot of her diagnostic tests, such as the MRI she received before she was hospitalized.
In Martha’s case, her total bill with this incident was over $2,400, because she did not need a Supplemental insurance policy. If Martha had Medicare Supplemental insurance, and specifically a Medicare Supplement Plan F, she would not need had to fund some of these costs. Apart from her Part B premium ($110.50 per month in 2010), and her Medicare Supplement premiums (in Martha’s case, it could have been $154 per month), each of Martha’s deductibles and co-insurance could have been paid by the insurance company.