Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I started the year with a medical bang. The second week of January I had an MRI-guided breast biopsy and four days later – not knowing the results of the biopsy – I had emergency surgery for an appendectomy. Going through both these procedures, I thought, "I'm so glad I have insurance."
Well, not until notices from the insurance company kept rolling in and the hospital billing me $47,000+ - just because the hospital coded things wrong. It took four months and a bazillion phone calls but everything is good now.
I'm young enough to be working and have insurance but for my neighbors in this retirement community, many are relying on Medicare and a Medicare supplement. In exchange for supporting my travel habit, I'm giving you a brief overview of "Medigap" – a private supplemental health insurance covering the "gap" in expenses between the full amount charged and Medicare reimbursement, such as the difference in co-pays, tests, medications, deductibles or other medical-related expenses. Premium costs range from $100 to $1,000+ per month.
Whether paying for private insurance or a Medigap plan, insurance is one of those necessary evils. Remember that $47,000+ hospital bill I mentioned? The insurance company ended up paying just over $6,000 because of their negotiated rates with the hospital. Medical insurance in some form just makes sense.
Remember, I am not an expert on medical insurance or Medicare (I work in the tourism industry). I’m providing this post as a resource so please do your research and make an educated purchase before deciding which plan is best for you.