You're not alone if you are a senior and you're burdened by the medical costs as you discovered medicare does not cover. Medicare does not, in most cases, provide all of the health coverage you may need and often times, such as prescriptions - only cover about 80% of some annual costs. There are varying types of Medicare supplement plans available - in fact there are ten - to help bridge this gap in coverage and avoid mounting monthly expenses. Supplement plans often come at affordable monthly payment options for annual coverage. Every senior should know their medicare coverage and understand what they need in a supplemental policy.
The benefits of a medicare supplemental insurance policy are more than just 'peace of mind.' The reasons I think it is essential to have a supplemental plan if your pension or union do not cover additional medical costs. These are my top reasons why:
Continued Physical and Recovery Therapy Coverage
Similar to prescription plans medicare coverage will only cover a certain number of visits to rehab and physical therapy sessions. Often times this requires patients in the most need of therapy to take unnecessary lapses in care once they've reached their threshold. With a supplemental insurance plan in place you will be able to continue your rehabilitation as necessary without the concern that you'll regress due to having to stop treatment or have to come out of pocket to pay.
Increased Coverage of Imaging and Blood Tests
Much the same as above - medicare only allows a certain number of imaging tests or bloodwork done over an annual period. This works well for healthier seniors but when a health crisis arises many find themselves repeatedly coming out of pocket for diagnostic tests unexpectedly. All medicare supplemental plans address this issues.
Broader Network of Doctors and Services
With a supplemental insurance plan you'll expand the network of doctors and services available to you without a referral. This will allow you in many cases to continue to see the doctors and specialists you prefer and/or were seeing prior to switching to a medicare plan. This alleviates the stress of acclimating to new doctors that may have no prior knowledge of your health conditions or medical history.
Travel with Ease
Medicare supplemental plans provide international coverage for patients who are often traveling throughout their retirement. Medicare plans provide little coverage when requiring care in other countries. With a supplemental plan you'll ensure that any medical issues that arise while traveling will be at the very least partially covered - helping to avoid an unexpected financial crisis. I do, however, recommend a travel insurance plan for extensive travelers.
Peace of Mind
Most seniors are retired and adhere to a strict monthly budget - leaving little to no room for unexpected financial burdens. The last thing that you want is to have a medical crisis and forced into a financial situation where you are forced to sacrifce either lifestyle or the right kind of care. Medicare Supplemental Plans provide peace of mind that you'll be able to get the treatments you need no matter what arises without dipping into your retirement savings.