When discussing the best Medicare Supplemental Plans to purchase for your future, one particular tidbit of information that most would often disregard that these plans do provide is health literacy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong focusing on securing your health and wealth needs for retirement, but we’d like to emphasize the need to prioritize literacy on medical details and instructions as well.
Which is why, as a push to help you and other readers gain some much-needed knowledge on retirement wellness, we’re regularly posting articles and other media (such as our Medigap Buyer’s Guide) to help baby boomers gain an advantage in preparing for the golden years.
And to further stress the urgency of this advantage, we’d like to point out a particular statistic revealed by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (conducted by the U.S Department of Education): approximately 77 million Americans were recorded to have inadequate health literacy! This is indeed troubling, considering that an individual can not only prevent spending their hard-earned savings on misunderstood medical information, but proper treatment in cases of aging diseases can be sufficiently maintained, if only one knows what to do as well.
As such, we’d like to share some pointers on how Medicare Supplements can be a tool to help improve health literacy. We hope you’d get to have the chance to learn something new as well from these pointers too!
Defining Medicare Supplemental Plans Offers a Step into Improving Health Literacy
Understanding what Supplements for Medicare Plans have to offer is synonymous to having access to a vast resource of health information. The more you dig deeper on what a plan covers, which policies to purchase, or discuss your available solutions with an agent; you’d be able to get firsthand information on the current state of healthcare.
Think about it: Medicare Supplements help policyholders pay for out-of-pocket costs that aren’t covered by Original Medicare Plans (which comprises of Medicare Part A and Part B). Individuals interested in this form of insurance are likely to have either experienced hospital care or definitely want to prevent any unnecessary medical expenses to pay for during the twilight years. Whatever the case is, inquiring what this insurance policy has to offer shows an interest and genuine desire in improving one’s retirement health needs.
Supplements for Medicare Give You Good Insights on Hospital Services
One of the main drawbacks of having inadequate health literacy is the chance to undergo unnecessary hospital checkups (which, of course, may mean losing funds better spent on other retirement essentials). As such, learning and purchasing the best Medicare Supplemental Plans will also give applicants an edge by knowing more on how hospitals function.
For starters, let’s briefly discuss the basic coverage that all Medigap policies (there are ten standardized plans, from Plan A to N) provide:
- Covers the first three pints of blood
- Covers Medicare Part A coinsurance fees
- Covers Medicare Part A copayments (hospice care)
- Covers Medicare Part B coinsurance costs or copayments
As seen above, just the basic coverage can mean a lot of savings. And considering that individuals with low health literacy (as documented by the AMA-MSS Subcommittee on Health Literacy) are more likely to have more hospital stays (many of which are unnecessary), having a safety net such as Medigap can very well prevent losing funds from one’s nest egg.
Medigap Policies May Help You Build a Connection with Doctors
Let’s now discuss another finding from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy study. According to the report, only 12% of adults have the necessary health literacy skills and know-how to identify, manage, and even prevent diseases. This is because not only do these individuals have an edge in interpreting medical instructions. It’s also because of the collaborative effort and working relationship they have with their doctors.
And Medicare Supplemental Plans also provide policyholders an opportunity to create that productive connection with doctors. By being a supplement to Original Medicare plans, policyholders have access to an extensive network of experts, physicians, and hospitals all across the country. Almost every doctor in the country is under the massive Medicare network.
However, in cases that a physician isn’t part of the Medicare assignment, that doctor can only charge a policyholder 15% more of the negotiated rate (which is initially under the Medicare Part B coverage for coinsurance costs or copayments). Additionally, if the charge is done at the doctor’s office, an individual has the option of having the cost completely covered if he or she is enrolled in Medigap Plans F or G.
Nevertheless, a Medicare Supplemental Plan’s benefit of getting care and services from preferred doctors edges out the alternative (which is Medicare Advantage). A Medicare Advantage Plan’s coverage, although applicable for certain people, is limited to a specific network of doctors only.
Improved Health Literacy and a Medicare Supplement Policy Mean Better Retirement Plans
Perhaps having a “health-first” or “health-conscious” mindset is one of the key traits of both improving one’s health literacy and purchasing the best Medicare Supplemental Plans. And with the knowledge gained from these two concepts, baby boomers now have the chance to craft even better plans for their golden years.
A big problem that most individuals with poor health literacy skills have is the constant feeling of being lost when given instructions by a doctor. Even more so is the problem of asking – most, especially boomers, wouldn’t want to confirm or ask more questions regarding treatment or a medical procedure. And because of this hesitation, the chance of being diagnosed with other ailments (and again, losing valuable funds) is high.
And placing health first (through the combination of literature and Medicare Supplements) will allow boomers to see the direct connection of wealth and one’s wellness during the retirement years. As mentioned in a CNN Money article, Don't freak out about health care costs in retirement, at an average, couples retiring today may spend up to $245,000 on health and related out-of-pocket expenses alone.
As we’ve mentioned before, statistics from a report conducted by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) definitely does not paint a pretty picture for most boomers. According to the survey, 45% of the boomer respondents haven’t saved a single cent for the twilight years. And to amplify this already financially devastating figure, 59% of the report’s respondents have stated to rely on Social Security to pay for retirement expenses.
It doesn’t stop there. Relating the IRI figures with those from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy shows the link between financial freedom and health during the retirement years. With only 27% boomers admitting to having enough money to pay for potential healthcare expenses, this rate of respondents also reflects the small number of individuals (12%) with the required health literacy skills to tackle sickness during retirement, as mentioned above.
It can then be said that those who invest time and resources in understanding health literature and carefully choose retirement solutions like Medigap policies are people who plan for a brighter future. Circumstances aside, though, there is always time to turn a new leaf and prepare for tomorrow in a more optimistic manner. With you being here, taking in as much information on healthcare and insurance policies, and eventually requesting for Medicare Supplement Quotes, can be taken as a sign that you’re doing everything you can to secure your future.
The Best Medicare Supplemental Plans Give the Chance to Live Better Retirement Years
Better retirement planning will then result in a brighter future not only for you but for your loved ones as well. The knowledge and eventual experience of benefitting from the best Medicare Supplemental Plans will make you a living testament to the importance of seeking coverage and placing health at the forefront of retirement planning.
And taking the burden of expensive medical bills out of your hands will mean more time to spend with the people who matter in your life! The time you gain from these insurance plans, the opportunities that open for you to enjoy the many wonders of life, and the chance for you to be the person you’ve always dreamed of are all now within arm’s reach!
Which is why (we really couldn’t stop stressing this) taking the initiative to learn about insurance, searching for Medigap quotes online, and even meeting with an agent are both crucial in improving health literacy and better retirement years. Have you done your part to make sure you aren’t part alarming figures we’ve mentioned above? Are you confident that your plans will hold and that your friends and family wouldn’t be drastically affected by the many changes that retirement will bring?
We Wish You the Best
We know that it’ll be an overwhelming journey, but you can do it! The mere reason that you’re here is that you’re seeking out ways to improve your plans. We hope everyone the best in attaining their retirement dreams!
Also, please reach out to us if you need any help when it comes to Medicare Supplement Plans. We’d like to offer all the support we can to you and other readers. Through our quotes (requesting for one is free), we believe that it’ll help you have an idea on how to set expectations for your future. Again, wishing you only the best retirement years!