Medicare Basics Part III

 Additional Important ancillary coverage to navigate!


Was that everything you needed to know?  Sorry to say not quite, there are still some gaps and curves in toe road to navigate to fully cover your health care needs as we reach our golden ages.


In my last two columns, I covered the basics of Medicare coverage and compared Medicare supplements with Medicare Advantage plans. I hope they help you decide what the most cost-effective approach for you is.


Is that everything you need to know? ALMOSTThere still may be gaps in the coverage you choose that could add up to considerable out-of-pocket expenses. In this column, we will outline some stand-alone ancillary plans and who may need them for maximum protection.


  1. Prescription- Many of you may be on a Medicare supplement plan. If you are taking medications, you will need to sign up for a prescription drug plan. Even if you are not taking any prescriptions at this time, you need to get a plan. Medicare will charge a penalty if you are not on a plan. There are many plans from which to choose. It is important to research them thoroughly. Some have a very low premium. However, if you are taking any prescriptions, the costs that companies charge vary considerably. The goal is to get the lowest prices available with the lowest monthly premium.

  2. Hospital Indemnity- Hospital indemnity insurance is an additional insurance policy you can buy that pays you a fixed amount for each day you spend in a hospital. It can help cover out-of-pocket hospitalization costs that Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan will not. Hospital indemnity insurance is sold by private insurance companies and can help you cover your out-of-pocket hospital costs not covered under Medicare or Medicare Advantage.

  3. Original Medicare covers 90 days of hospitalization with an additional 60 days that include high coinsurance — $352 per day in 2020 — that you have to pay out of your pocket.

  4. If your doctor hospitalizes you for observation, Medicare will generally not cover that hospital stay. The costs of an observation stay can add up quickly, and you may be responsible for paying the total amount.


Hospital indemnity insurance can help cover those costs. When you purchase these privacy policies, you choose how much daily coverage you want.The more coverage you select, the higher the premiums. If you are hospitalized, the policy pays an agreed-upon rate for each day.


Dental, vision, hearing- If you are not on a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will want to have an additional plan for these. The premiums are low and, you will have some of your costs covered. Usually, you will pay some out of pocket, but it does cover a good portion of your expenses.


Cancer- those who have genetic markers for cancer may want to purchase a cancer rider to an existing policy. If you are diagnosed with cancer, your current insurance may not cover all of your expenses. More than 1 in 3 Americans are predicted to get cancer in their lifetime. The good news today is that many people survive cancer. The 5-year survival rate is 69%2 but fighting it is expensive. Cancer patients typically use 20% of their income for treatment. 

Cancer insurance provides the cash you can spend any way you choose for medical or non-medical expenses. This coverage is a guaranteed issue and will not be canceled due to age or health.


You have the freedom to choose your doctor or hospital. In conclusion, there are so many options out there that can protect you. You need to know what is available so you can avoid unexpected financial burdens in the future.


Remember, every plan has its nuances; you need a licensed agent to go into detail with great details about your personal healthcare needs. Please make sure to talk to a licensed agent who can help you. 

If you have any questions, please email