When President Lyndon B. Johnson originally signed the Medicare law, he had two supplemental parts, A and B. These parts are known as “Original Medicare.” Part A covered procedures are related to hospital care, and Part B covered procedures are related to outpatient care. However, it didn’t take long for people to start looking for ways to supplement this coverage.
The outpatient and inpatient coverage offered by Parts A and B is already widely accepted. However, people also needed help paying some of the costs associated with their new Medicare coverage. For example, the part of the medical fees that they had to pay with the new program.
The government, taking into account the popularity of the plans, took steps to formalize and regulate these forms of private supplemental coverage. Today, Transamerica medicare supplement insurance plans are a popular option for those who need some help with the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare. They are also very popular among those who want to get some extra benefits.
What is Original Medicare?
Many decide to add a Transamerica Medicare supplement insurance plan to their Original Medicare coverage. To understand why let’s look at how Original Medicare works. Medicare Part A covers medical services that are usually related to a hospital stay. It also covers some types of care that are often needed after a hospital stay. For example:
Inpatient care in a hospital.
Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility.
Home health care.
Medicare Part B covers the kind of care you often get outside of a hospital or on an outpatient basis. For example:
Medically necessary services.
Preventive care services, like health exams, flu shots, and annual wellness visits with your doctor.
Durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or portable oxygen tanks that you may need to improve your health.
The costs of Original Medicare
When it went into effect, Original Medicare provided an unprecedented level of care for all Americans age 65 and older. But there are costs associated with coverage. For example, with Part A, you must pay a deductible of $1,340 before services are activated. Then, if you have a problem that requires a hospital stay of up to 60 days, Part A covers your needs. If your stay exceeds 60 days, you will have to cover part of the price of the hospitalization. And hospital costs can be high, even with Part A support.
A little help with costs
To keep people from feeling the cost shock, the government and private insurance companies have developed a set of plans designed to help pay some of the costs associated with Original Medicare. By paying your monthly premium for a Medicare supplement insurance plan, you can get the following financial help:
Pay the Part A deductible and your share of the costs for inpatient care not covered by Part A.
Pay doctor bills for Part B services.
Pay hospice care costs that aren’t counted under Original Medicare.
Thanks to these benefits, if you have a Medicare supplement insurance plan, you can:
Pay a predictable initial premium for coverage.
Lower the amount you must pay if you are in the hospital for a long time or have more than one visit to a specialist.
There are several Medicare supplement insurance plans offered by private insurance companies, and there are minor differences between them in coverage and cost. Medicare supplement insurance plans are identified by a letter of the alphabet. For example, Medicare Supplement Plan G provides coverage for medical emergencies while abroad, while the lower-cost Medicare Supplement Plan K does not offer coverage abroad. Be sure not to confuse these plans with the different parts of Medicare, which are also identified by letters. By law, Medicare supplement insurance plans are regulated by Medicare. They differ only in cost and coverage.
Medicare supplement insurance plans even have some welcome additions. For example, some plans cover health care while you are abroad.