On that date President Lyndon B Johnson signed the bill that created the Medicare program. (No real memories of the day other than I was 4 years old.) The plan was designed to help seniors cover the cost of their medical needs as they entered retirement. From the beginning, Medicare was designed to cover 80% of the cost after deductibles. The remaining 20% of the bill was designed for private insurance companies to create plans to fill the “Gap”. The plans are known as Medicare supplements or Medigap policies. These are strictly regulated by the Medicare program. To make it easier on the consumer, every insurance company had to design the plans by the same criteria. They were known as Plan A. Companies would follow the same criteria when they built and offered Plan A. If you went to the doctor you would show them your red, white, and blue Medicare card and your health insurance card. Medicare would pay 80% of the bill and the insurance company would pay 20% of the bill. Over time Medicare developed new sets of criteria and the options for consumers has expanded. We now have 10 different choices up to letter N. Medicare supplement plans help to cover the cost of the different deductibles in original Medicare. Since 2006, a different approach began to rise in popularity called Medicare Advantage. (Also known as Medicare Part C) We will look at that choice in more detail in a separate post. I want to recommend that you call our office and schedule a time to talk with our Medicare professional. What started out to be a simple chose with just Plan A has widened to two different types of plans and dozens of companies to chose from for your coverage. By working through a Medicare professional they can help you to find a plan that is accepted by your doctor and your preferred hospital.
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