According to the United States Census Bureau, 13.9% of Wisconsin residents are over 65 years of age, a number slightly above the national average of 13.3% over age 65. With advances in healthcare and life expectancy rates rising each year, this number is expected to rise exponentially, so if you’re a Wisconsin resident, it’s a good idea to make sure that your healthcare will cover your needs during your senior years. Though Medicare is the primary provider of health insurance coverage for seniors nationwide, Wisconsin residents also have the option to supplement their Medicare coverage, either by defraying their out of pocket expenses or enjoying physicians and medical services not generally covered by Medicare. Because registration for Medicare and Medicare supplements is limited to specific times of year, it’s critical that you understand your options before committing to a plan. Fill out the zip code form to compare local plans and rates instantly.
In 2011, approximately 273,000 Wisconsin residents were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Medicare part C), up 7% from 2010. Medicare Advantage plans offer the utmost flexibility in terms of pricing and coverage and can include services and physicians not covered by Medicare such as extended nursing care, dental care and prescriptions, depending on the plan. Medicare Advantage plans differ from county to county, so Wisconsin residents shopping for a policy should make sure to look at options available in their specific area only. Fill out the zip code form and compare local plans and rates.
Medigap plans in Wisconsin closely resemble those offered in Minnesota and Massachussetts, though they differ from those offered in the rest of the US. Nevertheless, Wisconsin Medigap plans offer excellent supplemental coverage designed to reduce the policyholders’ out of pocket healthcare expenses. Medigap plans K and L are available in Wisconsin, though most applicants choose the Wisconsin Basic Plan which covers a range of expenses including coinsurance costs for Medicare parts A and B, coinsurance for time spent in a skilled nursing facility, outpatient mental health services, 175 days of inpatient mental health care above what is already provided by a standard Medicare plan and 40 additional home care visits.
There are some riders available for the Wisconsin Basic Medigap plan including coverage for deductibles not covered by Medicare parts A and B, a total of 365 home health care visits and health insurance for overseas travel. Though in most states Medigap services are entirely identical and are federally mandated, in Wisconsin, insurance providers are legally able to offer additional riders. Therefore, if you have specific needs not covered by traditional Medigap plans, make sure to ask your insurance company (or potential insurance company) if it can accommodate your needs. Finally, it’s important to research your Medigap options carefully, as all Wisconsin Basic Plans are identical (and vary only by rider), but prices may vary, and it’s a good idea to look for the least expensive plan in your area before enrolling.
Enrollment for both Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans can be done in the initial Medicare registration process around the applicant’s 65th birthday, or during the annual open enrollment period which usually falls in the fourth quarter of the year for coverage beginning on January 1st of the following year. In 2012 open enrollment will be from October 15 through December 7 for coverage in 2013. Don’t delay, fill out the zip code form now and compare plans and rates.
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