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Medicare Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Cancer Treatment Every Retiree Should Know

by Greg Gurbikian, President/CEO

Medicare is a great health insurance option for eligible retirees. However, working in the healthcare insurance industry, one issue I’ve seen not being talked about properly is the out-of-pocket costs for cancer treatment. No matter which option a retiree takes while on Medicare, there are costs the retiree will be responsible for that could be avoided if they fully understood all of their options…

What is Medicare Medigap Supplement Insurance and why do I need it?

Medicare provides the majority of coverage for individuals, but it does not cover everything. Medicare Supplements or “Medigap” Insurance Plans are available so that you have the ability to get up to 100% coverage. It fills the “Gaps” that might be left uncovered by your original Medicare Policy. Nearly 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries with traditional Medicare had no supplemental coverage to pay the 20%. You must talk to us so that you understand your options. Medical bills are still the number one cause of bankruptcy for those over 65.

Medigap Insurance is a supplemental health insurance policy

Medicare Supplement plans also referred to as Medigap Supplement plans are standardized plans using alphabet letters designed to fill the gaps of Medicare. A Medigap plan keeps someone on Medicare as the primary insurance. The Medigap plan is accepted everywhere Medicare is accepted and is portable if someone moves or is traveling. Medigap Supplement plans are offered by private insurance companies and are standardized to all offer the same coverage and benefits.

Original Medicare is like a block of Swiss cheese; it is great, but it’s full of gaps and holes

A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) is more like American cheese that helps fill in the holes of the block of Swiss cheese. Think of a Medigap plan as an insurance card attached to your Original Medicare card that picks up where Original Medicare approved leaves off.

A Medigap policy will pick up the remaining costs Medicare doesn't

Think of Medicare as the body and the Medigap as the arm attached to it. Medicare will pay first if they are the primary insurance, and then the Medigap Insurance can help cover the deductibles and coinsurance that Medicare approved doesn’t cover. It is important to never just have Medicare as the primary insurance without secondary insurance for additional protection.

Medigap supplement plans are different than Medicare Advantage HMO/PPO.

A Medicare Advantage Plan is an all-in-one alternative plan to Original Medicare. A Medicare Advantage Plan is instead of Original Medical as the primary insurance and is not a supplement. For those that choose this option, they will now receive their healthcare coverage from a private insurance company and no longer from Medicare. A Medigap supplement insurance plan uses alphabet letters that are standardized and lets you keep Original Medicare as the primary insurance and enjoy such benefits as no networks or referrals.


Keep in mind these important facts about Medigap Supplement Plans:


You must have Original Medicare Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Medical).


You must leave your Medicare Advantage HMO/PPO plan which is an alternative to Original Medicare before you begin a Medigap policy.


You will pay a regular monthly premium to the private insurance company you choose for your Medigap, in addition to the monthly Part B premium you are already paying for Medicare.


You must purchase a separate Part D (Drug) prescription plan if you want prescription coverage.


Your Medigap policy can only cover you and no one else.


You can decide which company to buy a Medigap policy from, as long as that company is licensed in your state to sell you one. We will help you find the right coverage when you talk to one of our friendly client enrollment specialists in your state.


You are guaranteed renewed coverage for life as long as you pay the premium. No matter what your health is like, the private insurance company can’t cancel your Medigap supplement policy.


If you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan, it is illegal for you to have a Medigap supplement policy.