Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
Many older persons purchase private health insurance as protection against illness or injury. Even if you have Medicare, you may want to supplement your Medicare coverage with private health insurance. There are many medical expenses not covered by that program.
Medicare was not designed to meet all the medical needs of older persons. If you buy health insurance to supplement Medicare, you should read the policy carefully. You want coverage that fills the gaps in Medicare that are important to you but that does not duplicate Medicare’s coverage. Many insurance companies sell insurance (called Medicare Supplements) specifically designed to fill in the gaps in Medicare. These gaps include:
Prescription drugs not taken in a hospital
Long term care in a nursing home
Services that are considered “extras” in a hospital of nursing home
Full-time nursing care at home
The deductibles and co-payments that you must pay under Medicare
Some Medicare Supplement policies cover nursing home expenses only after Medicare benefits are exhausted. Yet Medicare law makes it difficult to “use up” all your Medicare coverage. As a result, you may be left with a useless insurance policy that never takes effect. It is important to speak with a licensed health insurance agent when making choices about these policies.