While there isn’t a single person among us that could have predicted what kind of year 2020 was going to turn out to be, we have been able to agree on one thing: that the best way forward, as usual, is through careful research, thoughtful planning, and a little bit of advice from our friends.
Anyone with Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan would do well to ask themselves what kind of coverage they actually have in the case of a sudden, serious illness like COVID-19. That’s why we’ve put together a couple of points that you need to consider when making your emergency health care plan.
Expanded Telehealth Benefits
In reaction to what they have classified as a Public Health Emergency, Medicare has expanded access to Telehealth Services. Not only does this allow for a wide range of clinical visits to happen over the phone or internet, but it also ensures that all Medicare recipients have ongoing access to mental health even in times when they can’t leave the house.
A “virtual check-in” is actually one of the Medicare benefits that too few people are using, and if there was any time to start using the service, it’s probably right now.
Medicare Alone Might Not Be Enough
There are plenty of things that Medicare unfortunately does not cover. While you may have already familiarized yourself with the list, it is possible you have not considered the potential costs that might arise specifically as a result of our current global situation.
Cough syrup, cold medicine, tissues, thermometers, masks … these are the kind of over-the-counter costs that are going to be coming directly from your pocket when the virus hits, or even just the flu.
Supplemental Plans are Still Available
All of those pesky out-of-pocket expenses from your Medicare Advantage plan ($6,700 worth in 2020) can be eliminated with the addition of a hospital indemnity plan.
If you haven’t been to the hospital in a while, then you are a lucky individual. Not only are many hospital charges hidden or obscured, but after you stack all the many costs together, the average American could be personally on the hook for several thousand dollars. When you lump in things like travel costs, food costs, and family lodging, it could easily be as much as $10,000.
Hospital indemnity plans are designed to alleviate the financial burden of an unexpected hospital stay. They operate by releasing set-amount cash payments when certain events are triggered, such as an overnight hospital stay. In essence, it’s making your current coverage better, and in times like these, we all could use a bit of extra help.
Will Medicare Cover a Coronavirus Vaccine?
At the time I am writing this there is no vaccine for COVID-19. If one does become available, it will be covered by all Part D Prescription Drug plans, as well as all MAPD plans.
Know the Risks, Talk to a Professional, Make a Plan
To say that we have entered uncertain times when it comes to health care is something of an understatement. As the coronavirus continues to work its way across the globe, the most that any of us can do is educate ourselves about the potential risks involved with this kind of virus, both those that affect our way of life and those that will be affecting our bank accounts and retirement funds if we’re not careful.
Your personal insurance professional at MediGap Advisors is standing by to help you navigate these strange times. We hope that you’ll give us a call to discuss the ways your Medicare coverage might be altered or supplemented in order to give you the most protection possible.
Tom Lockwood is a Personal Benefits Manager at MediGap Advisors. Tom has a passion for bringing clarity to those confused about Medicare. He is an authority on Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D prescription drug plans. Read more about Tom on his Bio page.