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As a result, there are now at least a dozen different standard, approved types of supplement insurance that aim at covering up these shortcomings.

Understanding Medicare Coverage and Costs

The Medicare system began in 1966 with Parts A and B. In 2006, Part D was released to cover prescription drug costs. This is not a simple system, and there are many services that incur costs for the patient. Learning some specifics will alert participants to the importance of private medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance.

Medicare Part A

This inpatient hospitalization insurance is free for US citizens who have reached the age of sixty-five and worked for forty-hours a week for at least one decade. There are some cases when people qualify at an earlier age. A stay in a hospital, skilled care nursing facility, or hospice center qualifies for coverage once the patient has met the deductible of over twelve-hundred dollars per benefit period.

A Benefit Period

A benefit period begins upon admission and ends when the patient is released. That means a person can have more than one benefit period in a year. If someone falls and breaks a hip in January and is released two weeks later, that is one benefit period. That same person suffers a heart attack in May and is admitted to the hospital. That occurrence begins a second benefit period and is subject to another deductible.

Length of Stay

The first sixty days of the stay once the deductible is met is covered at one-hundred percent. After sixty days, the patient is responsible for a copay at the rate of $329 per day. That doubles to $658 per day after ninety days. At that rate, someone on social security, or another form of fixed income, can afford the copay for two days. Take the time to view GoMedigap for details regarding both Medicare and supplemental insurance.

Medicare Part B

This consists of outpatient medical insurance. The elective coverage can be purchased for a monthly premium. The deductible is low, but the patient is responsible for twenty percent of all medical costs. Preventative care, laboratory tests, mental health care, x-rays, ambulance services, and durable medical equipment is still expensive even at twenty percent of the costs.

Medicare Part D

This prescription drug insurance is also elective, but there is a penalty for people who do not take coverage when they are eligible. A premium applies, as do deductibles and various copays. Medications are available on a tier system that dictates the costs to the patient. Supplement insurance can reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for patients. Learn more at GoMedigap.