Health Care and Hospital Costs

Budgeting your health care costs in retirement can be difficult because you are usually too young to know whether your spending for the year will be minimal or enormous. Imagine Medicare coverage and consider the benefits of Medicare Part G, the Medicare insurance plan for retirees. Although it is optional, there is no financial penalty if you get it and you will need to take out a policy later, for example if you need expensive medication, but there are usually financial penalties.

Traditional Medicare provides good basic health care and covers the recognized costs of hospitals, physicians and medical procedures. Traditional Medicare services typically do not cover medical costs such as prescription drugs, dental care, vision or mental health. In order to ensure good primary care, you must pay the licensed costs of the hospital, doctor or medical procedure, as well as the cost of your prescription medications.

“Those co-pays can sometimes cancel out the lower premium,” said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas.  Also, it’s worthwhile making sure the company offering the policy has a history of low rate increases, as reported on

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a chart on its website that shows the differences. You also can use the agency’s search tool to find available plans in your ZIP code.

Medigap supplemental insurance plans are designed to bridge the gap between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part D) plans. Medigap are Medicare – approved health insurers that offer these plans, and you can opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans often include health services such as dental care, visual aid and mental health.

Basically, Medicare supplemental insurance plans can result in higher out-of-pocket medical costs resulting from numerous hospital visits and physician visits, as well as higher hospital costs due to high hospitalizations and / or physician visits. A Medicare Part G Supplemental Insurance Plan (Medicare SELECT) may require you to see doctors and other providers outside the plan. Use a Medicare Advantage plan with a doctor or other health care provider who accepts Medicare patients.

Other types of insurance can help you pay for out-of-pocket health care costs, but are not considered genuine Medicare supplemental insurance. Your employer’s pension plan can pay for prescriptions, vision aids and dental services, but not Medicare deductibles or copycats. If you travel extensively to the United States and want coverage for emergency medical care that Medicare Part A or Part B may not provide, contact your employer.

This applies to all Medicare supplement policies, even if the benefits are not coordinated with Medicare, such as Medicare Part B, Part D or Part C.

You know that you will always have adequate income and assets to cover medical costs that are not covered by Medicare, such as uncovered benefits and medical expenses for medical needs that Medicare does not cover. This insurance coverage is usually free if you have provided work benefits, but you may have to pay a deductible to provide that benefit.

Part B is your health insurance, which generally covers medical expenses such as dental, visual and psychiatric treatment, as well as prescription drugs and prescription alcohol.

If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B, you can purchase Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap). If your out-of-pocket costs are not covered by Medicare, a Medigap policy can provide additional coverage. Benefits complement benefits in Part A and B, and when Medicare’s supplement program is over, you could find yourself with medical insurance, which could result in you paying higher premiums or even being denied coverage if you have a medical condition.

Remember that you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B to qualify for Medicare supplemental insurance, and you must pay for it.

Some Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare must offer hospice care that is still covered by Part A, but not by Part A. Medicare Part B. Another option you may have is regular Medicare coverage. This is best for people who want to change the Medicare benefits they receive.

The Medigap supplemental insurance does not cover hospice care, but is not subject to the same requirements as Medicare Part B, which some people buy separately to cover things like dental, vision, mental health and other care.

The rules that determine your ability to buy or modify your Medigap policy depend on your state’s law, whether you need Medicare to qualify for disability or have Medicare as the basis for disability. If you qualify, you must be older than 65 for Medicare Part G, and you must be in Medicare for at least three years before you are eligible for disability.

It can be expensive not to be covered by Medicare, and Medicare does not cover medical costs such as dental, vision, mental health care, or prescription drugs.

If you decide you need Medicare supplemental insurance when you retire, you might want to read a brief rundown of each type of plan. Most Medicare recipients choose one of three ways to close that gap. A Medigap policy complements your original Medicare plan to help you pay for co-insurance and deductibles that are not covered by the original Medicare plan. Medicare supplemental insurance plans, such as Medicare Part D, cover only Medicare-approved benefits, but only for a limited period.