Ever get caught in a blowing, wet and cold rain storm without an umbrella? Perhaps you got all dressed up to go to a party and when you got there it was pouring outside? The first thing you went to reach for was your umbrella. If you did not have one at the time, how much would you pay for that umbrella? Not having the proper protection in life can be either a minor inconvenience or sometimes a complete disaster. And, just like taking your umbrella with you before it rains in case it does rain you must have the necessary medical insurance protection before you need it. Let’s take senior health plans as an example. When you turn 65 you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A which covers hospitals. Part B is an option. Part B covers doctors and outpatient treatment. Suppose you just get part A without any supplement coverage. If you are hospitalized you are responsible for 20% of the bill. Anyone know what 20% of $250,000 is? A lot of Benjamins!

There are basically two types of senior health plans available today. One is Medicare Supplement insurance or Medi Gap plans because they cover the “gaps” in Medicare. There are approximately 12 different plans that are standardized by the federal government. The plan that covers all the gaps is plan F and the health insurance premiums average around $200.00 per month. Not to mention, plan D for prescriptions which costs about $25.00 per month. The other type of senior health plan is a Medicare Advantage plan. Some carriers offer an HMO for $0 premium per month. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida has a PPO for around $63.00 a month. Medicare Advantage plans usually come with prescription coverage and often cover hearing, vision and dental. Some even come with gym membership.

Which plan is better? The answer depends a lot on your financial situation. The Advantage plans will have doctor and hospital copayments. The Supplement plans will cost you more money per month than the Advantage plans but will save on your out of pocket expenses. A licensed insurance broker can help you decide which senior health plan works best for you. To see if you qualify for financial assistance Medicare will be able to help you with that. And remember, don’t forget your umbrella.