One of the biggest worries of our group, retired or soon-to-retire grandparents, is the cost of our health care. I don’t know anyone in our age group that doesn’t have some type of health issue, and even healthy people still need wellness care. I know that I have always relied on the fact that Medicare would be there for me when I retire. But I didn’t know about all the out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare.
We are going to need Supplemental Health Insurance. Oh sure I’ve seen the commercials for supplemental insurance, but I had no idea until I dug into research for this article what the costs are.
So, in this article, I will be answering the question, “How much does Meidcare Supplemental Health Insurance cost?
What is Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance?
“Medicare Supplement Insurance is a form of private health insurance that helps cover certain Medicare out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co payments and coinsurance. Over 13 million Americans had a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in 2016”. This is according to MedicareSupplement.com.
Currently, 44 million beneficiaries—some 15 percent of the U.S. population—are enrolled in the Medicare program. Enrollment is expected to rise to 79 million by 2030. Only one in 10 beneficiaries relies solely on the Medicare program for health care coverage. This is from AARP.
“Medicare provides protection against the costs of many health care services, but traditional Medicare has relatively high deductibles and cost-sharing requirements and places no limit on beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending for services covered under Parts A and B. Moreover, traditional Medicare does not pay for some services that are important for older people and people with disabilities, including long-term services and support, dental services, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. In light of Medicare’s benefit gaps, cost-sharing requirements, and lack of an annual out-of-pocket spending limit, most beneficiaries covered under traditional Medicare have some type of supplemental coverage that helps to cover beneficiaries’ costs and fill the benefit gaps.” This is from the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation.
Why Do I Need Supplemental Health Insurance?
There are plenty of costs that Medicare does not cover:
- Dental exams, most dental care or dentures
- Routine eye exams, eyeglasses or contacts
- Hearing aids or related exams or services
- Most care while traveling outside the United States
- Help with bathing, dressing, eating, etc. (custodial care)
- Comfort items such as a hospital phone, TV or private room
- Long-term care
- Cosmetic surgery
- Most chiropractic services
- Acupuncture or other alternative treatments
- Routine foot care
This is from MedicareMadeClear.com
Medicare Part B Premium: There is a monthly premium for Part B coverage. For Medicare beneficiaries with incomes below $85K/single or $170K/couple, the Part B premium cost for 2019 will average $135.50 per month. For Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes, the Part B premium cost will range from $189.60 to $460.50 per month, based on income level. Medicare beneficiaries who meet certain income and resource guidelines can get their Part B premium paid for by their state’s Medicare Savings Program.
Medicare Part B Deductible: You will also pay an annual deductible of $185 in 2019. That means when you receive services covered by Part B, you will pay $185 before Medicare starts helping you pay. People with Medicare with incomes less than 100% of federal poverty level – about $1,012/month – and few resources can be excused from paying the Medicare deductible and coinsurance.
Coinsurance: Once you have paid your deductible, you will then pay 20% of the cost approved by Medicare for most Medicare Part B services.
This is according to Medicare Matters with the National Counsel on Aging.
Click here for a complete cost break-down for Medicare A and B.
These costs are considered “gaps” in Medicare coverage, hence the term “Medigap Insurance” used for Medicare Supplemental Insurance.
How Much Does Medicare Supplemental Insurance Cost?
Supplemental Insurance is often called a “Medigap Plan”.
While prices vary greatly between insurance companies, below are the average monthly premiums for each Medigap plan:
|Medigap Plan||Average Monthly Premium|
|F (High Deductible)||$68|
What if I Don’t Have Supplemental Health Insurance?
You will be covering the costs of all the gaps in Medicare out of your own pocket, if you don’t have a Supplemental Health Insurance plan.
Either Way, The Costs Mount Up
You either pay the Medicare gaps, or you pay for Supplemental insurance at around $800 per month for Medigap on Medicare A&B. For a good share of retirees, that’s a chunk of change we can’t come up with.
Our Social Security certainly won’t cover either set of costs:
“The estimated average monthly benefit for “all retired workers” in 2019 is $1,461.” This is according to Investopedia.com
How are those of us with little or no retirement money saved up going to afford either scenario?
We Need to Supplement Our Income!
We retirees and soon-to-be retirees are going to have to work after we retire. There’s no way around it. We are going to have to find jobs we can do that work with our Social Security Benefit, so we just afford our health care, let alone all the other expenses we will incur while visiting our grandchildren, helping out with sports and lessons, or taking them on vacation, like many of us want to do. And we certainly want to be healthy so we can do all those things!
What’s the Best Way to Afford Medicare Supplemental Insurance?
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The more I study these phenomena of retiring and finding enough money to retire in the way that I want to, the more I’m convinced that I will need to some extra money from somewhere. Health coverage looks like it will be a significant cost, regardless if I have a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan or not. Either way, it looks like the costs will suck up any money I get from Social Security.
I am glad I started affiliate marketing myself, in time to get good at it, so I will be able to cover health insurance costs, and still live a fulfilling retirement life with my grandchildren.