Medical bankruptcy is very real. It can be devastating for those who’ve been affected by it. According to the website publisher “Balancing Everything”66.5 % of all bankruptcies by the end of 2021 were related to medical bills and severe debt.
Yes, you may have insurance. But some found that the actual protection provided by the health insurance was considerably less than expected once copayments, deductibles, and excluded fees and expenses added up.
Debt accumulates because insurance has denied claims or excluded specific services, hospitals, or physicians.
It is for these reasons that when you retire and adjust to life under Medicare coverage, you should consider supplemental healthcare coverage. Protect the nest egg that funds your retirement and avoid overwhelming medical expenses that could cripple your retirement budget.
What is Supplemental Health Insurance?
Supplemental health insurance is sometimes referred to as “gap” insurance as it plugs holes in your Medicare coverage. It helps pay for the expenses your Medicare insurance doesn’t cover–like:
- Out-of-pocket expenses
These expenses can add up quickly and things like deductibles reset every year. The way supplemental policies for Medicare insurance work are that you pay a monthly fee for the insurance and you get to eliminate the additional debt.
Is supplemental health insurance good for everyone?
There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Every home, family, household, and individual is different. While working and earning a living, a supplemental policy may not be critical. However, that takes on a different relevance once you retire, especially if you’re using Medicare.
That said, there are different types of supplemental or “Medigap” insurance policies available. AAA reports that there are ten different types of Medigap policies, each one offering different levels and types of coverage-all of which can be confusing.
It also raises another question — when is the right time to invest in supplemental health insurance?
Those who are just retiring and don’t have significant medical expenses may not be ready to invest in additional protection. However, your health status can change on a dime with little notice. This is why many people are more comfortable investing in supplemental insurance for their Medicare coverage from day one.
When Should You Consider Supplemental Health Insurance?
Consider this: choosing supplemental health insurance depends on it you’re enrolling in Medicare Part B. If that’s the case, you should strongly consider signing up for additional Medicare insurance within the first six months of enrollment in Medicare Part B.
If you don’t purchase supplemental health insurance during this six-month grace period, your additional coverage options may be severely limited.
Failing to do so within the first six months of Medicare Part B coverage eliminates the “guaranteed issue” aspect of supplemental health insurance so you may not be able to enroll at all after the six-month window closes.
In other words, the ideal time to purchase supplemental health insurance, if you suspect you will someday need it, is within the first six months of enrolling in your Medicare coverage. Otherwise, you run the risk of doing it later.
Key Details about Supplemental Health Insurance
- Supplemental insurance can spare you the pain of medical cost-related bankruptcy.
- Different supplemental health insurance plans offer varying degrees and types of coverage.
- There is a limited window of opportunity to get access to supplemental health insurance with guaranteed issues.
There is much to consider when planning for your healthcare coverage. If you have the extra money it’s a wise investment to purchase supplemental health insurance when you are likely going to need it the most.
It will not only help you get the medical care you need but could also help you avoid bankruptcy. Make sure you get the coverage that’ll meet your needs today and in the future.
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