Free Up Your Retirement Income by Reducing Your Medicare Premiums
Without a doubt, Medicare is an invaluable medical resource for seniors, retirees, and the disabled. After all, while it is not exactly free, Medicare still offers various levels of healthcare coverage at a fraction of regular health insurance policy premiums. However, picking the wrong plan could mean additional expenses that could drive its cost higher. Thankfully, there are surefire and often foolproof ways to minimize your Medicare monthly premiums, which, in turn, can save recipients a great deal of money.
Medicare Advantage is likely the better choice, not Medigap.
For the uninitiated, Medigap is an add-on of sorts for Medicare. It is marketed as plans that take care of Medicare deductibles that you are often required to pay upfront before you can take advantage of the insurance. Furthermore, it also provides coverage beyond those that are included in Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B.
On the other hand, Medicare Advantage is a lot more similar to the health insurance you likely enjoyed as part of the workforce prior to retirement. Medicare Advantage plans actually replace basic Medicare and adds extra coverage to boot. Not only that, it normally co-pays both deductibles, so that even if you have met or exceeded your deductible limit for the year, you have nothing to worry about.
It is, indeed, easy to see why Medicare Advantage is the better option between the two. Best of all, Medicare Advantage premiums are significantly lower than that of Medigap, even if it does require you to co-pay your deductibles. In the long run, this actually works out to lower premiums.
Of course, this is not at all a cut and dried decision, but rather, one that requires you to take into consideration all the cost factors that apply to your unique circumstances. For example, if you anticipate a lot of medical activity and, by extension, expenses in the future, Medigap may actually be the cheaper option due to the fact that it has fewer deductibles, so it covers more of your out of pocket expenses more effectively than Medicare Advantage.
Take the time to shop for providers.
Medigap and Medical Advantage plans are offered by different private insurance companies. This, in turn, means that there is a variety of different approaches available for you. The least of which is how they handle monthly premiums. As you do your research, you will likely find yourself surprised that different providers offering essentially the same Medical Advantage and/or Medigap plans have premium schemes that are definitely not at all created equal. This is why shopping around is essential, if you want to enjoy savings.
Case in point—Medigap plans are required to follow a specific template in terms of coverage, which is why, for example, Medigap Plan A is identical to other Medigap Plan As across the board. However, there can be a huge disparity in premiums between providers. A great way to compare and ultimately shop for Medigap plans is through the Medigap Plan Finder tool found on the Medicare website. All you need to do is key in your zip code and search for plans within that geographic area and you have everything you need to know right in front of you.
Medicare Advantage, on the other hand, does not have such a template to adhere to, so it is not at all uncommon to find that not only premiums vary, but also deductibles and co-pays, even as far as the type of medical coverage that is inclusive. It is, therefore, important to verify that the Medicare Advantage plans you are considering are actually within the same level and/or category.
A Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan is worth considering.
When you retire, you will probably miss the myriad benefits of your health savings account (HSA), so you might be pleased to know that Medicare has its own version of this, and that is the Medicare MSA. This actually comes as a package deal of sorts with Medical Advantage. The MSA works like a savings bank account in such a way that money is regularly deposited into it, but by Medicare. In fact, you are not allowed to deposit funds into the MSA yourself. These MSA funds can prove invaluable as they can be used to cover deductibles and can even be used years in the future to cover qualified expenses.
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