Years ago, certain percentages were reported having nothing saved for their retirement years. Among those ages 46 through 64, popularly known as the Baby Boomers, fully one-fourth lacked retirement savings. People surveyed who were over 64, fared slightly better off with only 22 percent reporting they lacked savings for their retirement years. Medicare supplemental insurance can extend dwindling retirement savings when looking at Medicare Supplement Plans 2019.


Nine out of ten seniors hope they will be able to remain in their home for a long time to come, but maintaining their independence will largely depend on maintaining their health. That may require more doctor services, coverage for hospitalization, the possibility of more prescriptions and possibly temporary care in a skilled nursing facility to bridge the gap between hospital care and resuming normal activities when back at home.


Most people, not just seniors, underestimate how much health care in the U.S. now costs. Medical debt that forces seniors to sell their home is common these days and the escalating price tag of our health care system has been forcing more seniors into bankruptcy in recent years. When Medicare became law in 1965, it was never intended to cover all health care costs. It was supposed to protect seniors against catastrophic or major expenditures to stop bankruptcies. Covering all doctor and hospital bills requires a way to supplement Medicare coverage. Basically, three forms of insurance are now available to expand Medicare coverage. Seniors can choose a Medicare Advantage plan as an alternative to Original Medicare Part A and B, if one is available where they live. Medicare Advantage plans have really low premiums and offer all of Medicare’s Part A and B benefits, but Advantage plans are not universally available.


Medicare Advantage plans also typically restrict health care coverage to a specific network of doctors and hospitals. If a specialist whose services are not covered is required, that could hinder treatment. Most Advantage plans also require a referral to see a specialist, which could delay access to a specialist. The second way to expand Medicare coverage is with Medicare Supplemental insurance. Commonly known as Medigap insurance, Medigap plans offer ten different combinations of benefits that pick up where Medicare stops. For example, Medicare pays for 80 percent of a pre-determined amount for doctor care. Either the patient or her Medigap plan pay the remaining 20 percent every time a doctor’s care is needed.