In August, the Congressional debate over who pays for budget cuts heard from the military. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta urged Congress not to trim more of the military budget at any cost. According to Panetta, we should increase taxes and cut Medicare and Social Security. Obviously, he’s not running for election, but will Congress follow his lead?
While the military’s budget was increased by over 70 percent just since 2001, this year is the first time that Medicare paid for preventive health care. To be fair, it was paying for 80 percent of fixed fees for doctor care that could be deemed necessary to detect and/or prevent common diseases. Still, beneficiaries had to supplement their Medicare benefits with a Medicare Supplement insurance plan (or Medigap plan) to cover that last 20 percent or pay for it themselves. In tough economic times, that 20 percent could block access to essential preventive health care.
With health care reform, Medicare beneficiaries got more for their Medicare, but it’s hardly a freebie. Remember that people have to pay for Medicare Part B and they also have a monthly premium for Medicare Supplement Insurance to cover the gaps in Medicare.
As we await the outcome over who will ultimately be hit by budget cuts, getting the most from Medicare takes some research. You don’t have to become an expert on Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, though. With our years of researching how to supplement Medicare, we’ve built up vast resources to help you navigate the Medicare maze.
Give us a call when you have a few quick questions, or set up a complimentary consultation. You may also want to sign up for our monthly teleseminar. We cover the basics of how Medicare works, then discuss the major differences among supplemental plans and give you a chance to ask questions and get answers from leading experts.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.