Caring for Aging Parents: How to Keep Expenses Low
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COSTA MESA, Calif. - Californer -- Medicare supplements are called Medigap ( The definition of Medigap definition is a private individual plan that helps cover the costs not covered by Original Medicare, including copayments, deductibles and health care outside of the U.S. It does not usually cover prescription medication (Medicare Part D).

Medigap plans range in prices so it's best to compare medigap plans ( Medigap is a coverage you can buy to supplement your Medicare coverage. However, you can only buy it with Original Medicare, not the private insurance alternative, Medicare Advantage. Agents are legally banned from selling both Medigap and Medicare Advantage to the same client.

Medigap and Med Supps: What Do They Cover?

Medigap and Med Supps (Medicare Supplements) are all the same thing, so don't get confused. The main reason people buy medigap or med supps is to cover copays and deductibles, which do not apply to prescription drugs, only visits to healthcare providers. Just as you would if you had any type of private health insurance, you pay a monthly premium. In exchange, instead of paying copays out of pocket when your parents visit the doctor or any healthcare provider, insurance will cover it.

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Why Would I Choose Medicare Advantage Over Medigap Insurance?

Medicare Advantage ( is the private version of Original Medicare but it is still monitored by the government and is required to offer at least as much as Medicare, which includes Part A and Part B of Medicare benefits. Each private health insurance company is different and it's important to find the right Medicare Advantage provider, but for the most part, you can expect Medicare Advantage to cover more needs than Original Medicare, even if you buy Medigap insurance along with it.

Medicare Advantage vs Medigap

For one thing, as we mentioned above, dental issues are very expensive and not covered by Original Medicare. One set of dentures can cost thousands of dollars and may need to be replaced over time ($1,275 to $2,750). Implants usually cost more ($1,500 to $6,000 for just one implant with a crown and abutment!). As people age, their hearing deteriorates. Hearing aids are expensive and often need replacing (average prices range from $1,500 to $3,500).

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Depending on your parents' lifestyle and budget Medicare Advantage ( may be the perfect way to help aging parents financially. Do you want coverage for these expensive items or do you have enough saved to cover them? Which will cost you less? Medigap does not cover them either. Medigap (vs Medicare Advantage) would not pay anything towards the services listed above. It's a good idea for you to sit down and go over the prior year's healthcare expenses and see which plan would better serve your parents.


Source: SmartFinancial
Filed Under: Family

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