Should we dump our Medicare supplement and invest the money to cover future co-pays instead?

April 6, 2014
I have read a blog on the Huffington Post by Dr. David Belk advising Medicare supplements may not be useful for everyone. My husband and I are on Medicare with a Blue Shield of California supplement. Dear husband is 73-years-old and I am the oh-so-much younger 67. We pay $4,700/year in premiums, are both healthy and have no recurring...

Advisor answers

All medicare supplements or "Medigap" insurance plans are designed to supplement your original Medicare plan and help pay some of the health care costs that original Medicare doesn't cover, like copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, when you travel outside the U.S. and some cover prescription drugs as well. Supplemental policies do not usually cover any medical services Medicare won't cover. Each lettered Medigap policy must by law offer exactly the same benefits, regardless of the insurer that sells it. But insurers still charge w...

If you can enroll back at any time into a MediGap or secondary plan should the worst happen, then saving that premium money might be a good idea.

Do you have a HSA plan you could contribute to?

If you choose to continue your enrollment, remember premiums may be deductible on your tax return as a medical expense.

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From my 37 years of working with clients on Medicare, I suggest you see if there is an insurance plan like United Health (AARP), Health Net or Cigna, etc. that may have lower premiums than your Blue Shield. I am curious as to what Blue Shield Supplement you have?

Maybe you would be happier with a Medicare Advantage.............HMO or PPO.

I have found that there have been many of my clients that choose not to get a supplement or a Medicare Advantage end up paying a great deal out of their pocket after a catastrophic illness. Then they w...

I have seen a lot of Dr. Belk's videos and he has made a lot of great points. You also received a lot of great advice on this board in regards to your question as well as to what to take into consideration.

I would also like to point out that if you and your husband are receiving social security and making under 250% of the Federal poverty level (FPL) then you would probably also qualify for financial assistance which can help with hospital deductible and co-insurance. Each state and hospital has their own policy as to what they ...