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Most people know that Medicare is a government-sponsored healthcare program for seniors ages 65 and older, but did you know that Medicare coverage is extremely limited? Essentially, Medicare only covers vital emergency care, such as if a senior must be taken to the emergency room after a bad fall. But what about routine medical care?

Medicare is broken up into parts. Part A is what seniors can receive for free, but additional parts must be purchased for more comprehensive coverage. Let’s take a closer look at what each part covers.

Part A is the equivalent of hospital insurance, covering emergency services, hospital treatment, nursing home care and hospice services. This is offered to seniors at no charge because these services are frequently required to treat severe injuries or illnesses.

Part B is the equivalent of medical insurance, covering services and supplies used for medical diagnosis and treatment. This includes routine medical care, such as visiting your doctor for an annual physical or having a suspicious mole examined by a dermatologist. It can also cover preventative services, which help to maintain your health and ward off serious illness.

Part C is a combination of Parts A and B, which we will discuss in more detail below. And lastly, Part D covers prescription drugs.

Everyone, especially aging individuals, requires more than just hospital insurance to stay healthy throughout the years. This is why supplemental Medicare plans are available through private insurance carriers and independent agents to fill in the holes that are left behind by original Medicare. Though these plans do have a premium, they cost much less than traditional healthcare plans because Part A remains sponsored by the government. Seniors are simply paying for the additional coverage in order to reduce out-of-pocket costs when visiting doctors.

Supplemental Medicare polices are standardized and regulated by law, which means that all plans across all insurance carriers must be the same, though the price can vary widely from insurer to insurer. What types of plans are available?

A Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Part C, combines coverage from Parts A and B. Part D prescription drug coverage is often included as well. Vision and dental can be added to your plan, if you so choose.

A Medicare Supplemental Plan, also known as Medigap, includes the whole spectrum of coverage. You may pay a higher premium, but co-payments can cost little to nothing for policyholders. If fewer out-of-pocket costs sounds great to you, the premium may be well worth the cost.

Talk to your agent today about supplementing your Medicare plan with more comprehensive coverage.

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