Tag Archives: Medigap Insurance

Medicare Supplement Insurance Will Change In 2010

Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap Insurance, can cover medical expenses that are not covered by Medicare unless you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. Then, Medigap Insurance won’t pay co-payments, deductibles, or other cost sharing under your Medicare Health Plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans offer more benefits, and lower co-payments than Medicare Part A and B. With a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’re replacing your Medicare Part A and B coverage with coverage through a private insurance company. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, typically all of your Medicare-covered health care is provided through the Medicare Advantage Plan, and that may include coverage for prescription drugs.

If you don’t have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may want to take advantage of Medigap Insurance. There is an open enrollment period for Medigap Insurance. During the first six months after you turn age 65, you do not need to qualify, or answer any questions about your prior medical history when enrolling in Medigap Insurance.

How Is Federal Law Changing Medicare and Medigap Insurance?

The federal Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 went into effect January 2009. It required states to adopt changes for Medigap Insurance policies.

Currently, twelve Medigap policies (Plans A through L) have different sets of benefits. If you have Plan A, for instance, it has the same benefits regardless of which insurance company offers it. The cost of the plan may be different, though, from different insurance companies. In accordance with the new federal law, some Medigap Plans will be changed or dropped, and new plans will be added.

In June of 2010, four of the Plans A through L will be dropped, and two new plans will be added. Medigap Plans E, H, I, and J will no longer be sold, and Plans M and N will be added. That will leave a total of ten Medigap Plans.

Plan M will pay 50 percent of the Part A deductible, and some of the cost of foreign travel emergencies. It will not cover the Part B deductible. Plan N will pay the full Part A deductible, but it will require a $20 co-payment for Part B office visits, and up to a $50 co-payment for emergency room visits. Plan N will also cover foreign travel emergencies.

According to the new law, Medicare will cover many preventive care benefits, so these benefits will be dropped from Medigap Plans. The Home Recovery benefit will also be dropped from Medigap Plans.

All Medigap Plans will include an additional benefit to cover the out-of pocket costs imposed by the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Medicare will cover any care that is necessary and reasonable for easing the course of a terminal illness. The Medicare Hospice Benefit provides for bereavement services, counseling, drugs for pain relief and symptom management, home health aide and homemaker services, medical appliances and supplies, nursing care, physician services, short-term inpatient and respite care, social work service, spiritual care, and volunteer participation.

The new law also eliminates late enrollment penalties payable by subsidy-eligible individuals with regard to Medicare Part D. That’s the Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program. In the past, those who elected not to enroll in Part D, faced penalties if they changed their minds and tried to enroll at a later date.

No Changes for Medigap Plans You May Already Have

Nothing happens to the Medigap Plans that people have already purchased, and a Medigap Plan is guaranteed renewable for as long as you continue to pay the premiums. If you keep your current Medigap policy, your benefits will not change, regardless of the new law.

If your Medigap Plan no longer meets your needs, or the premiums are too high, you may want to look at the new plans. If you’re not sure which plan you have, ask the insurance agent or company that issued your policy. Remember that Medicare / Medigap does not have official sales agents, so be wary of sales people who claim to represent Medicare when they try to solicit your business.

Medigap Insurance and Open Enrollment Periods

Insurance companies are now required to issue Medigap policies without health screening, or a new waiting period limitation when an employer stops providing insurance that covers all of the cost for Medicare’s 20 percent co-insurance.

If you have Medigap Insurance, you have 30 days of open enrollment following your birthday each year when you can buy a new Medigap policy without a medical screening, or a new waiting period. The new policy must have equal or less benefits than your old policy. To avoid confusion, the new law specifies which of the new Medigap Plans are equal to the old plans.

You can find expert advisors online who know these plans, and can answer your questions. The time to ensure you have the right protection for your situation is right now before you need it.

Everything You Need To Know About Medicare Supplement Policies

A Medicare Supplement policy is private health insurance that is used to supplement the Original Medicare Plan. This policy is also called “Medigap Insurance.” It is specifically designed to assist with health care costs, or “gaps,” that the Original Medicare Plan does not cover. Medicare Supplement policies often cover co-insurance, deductibles, and many other fees that Medicare doesn’t cover. If you receive benefits from the Original Medicare Plan and you purchase a supplement policy, then both plans will pay a portion of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. All of the Medicare Supplement policies are available for purchase through private insurance companies.

Keep in mind that a supplement policy is not considered a “Medicare Advantage,” because it is not meant to be a way to receive Medicare benefits. Only “standardized” Medicare Supplement policies can be sold through insurance companies. These standardized supplement policies are named by letters (A through L). A few states, such as Texas and Louisiana, allow you to buy another type of Medicare Supplement policy called Medicare SELECT.

The different types of Medicare supplement policies all offer the same basic benefits and insurance companies cannot change these policies. Typically, the only variation between policies through different insurance companies is the cost of the policy. Strict regulation through federal and state laws governs what is covered in these Medicare supplement policies, and these regulations are designed to protect those that receive Medicare.

What Medicare Supplement Policies Do Not Cover

Medicare Supplement policies do not cover any care that is considered long-term, such as care in a nursing home, hearing aids, eyeglasses, vision or dental care, and private-duty nursing. All new supplement policies are guaranteed to be renewable-meaning the insurance company will never terminate your policy as long as you pay the premium. Even though some previous Medicare policies paid the cost of prescription drugs, no new Medicare Supplement policies are allowed to include prescription drug coverage. So, if you would like to receive prescription drug coverage, it is advisable to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) offered through private companies that are Medicare-approved.

When to Buy a Medicare Supplement Plan

The open enrollment period is the best time to apply for a Medicare supplement plan. This time to enroll only lasts for 6 months and begins on the first day of the month in which you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During the enrollment period insurance companies cannot use any medical “underwriting,” which means that they can’t refuse to sell you their supplement policy, make you wait for coverage to begin, or charge you excess for a policy due to your health problems. The insurance company can never require a pre-existing condition waiting period if you buy a supplement policy when you have a guaranteed time period to purchase it.

Before your open enrollment period begins, you can send in your application for a Medicare supplement policy. Sometimes you may have coverage that ends once you turn age 65, so this may be very important if you want to guarantee continuous health coverage.

Your open enrollment period is extremely important because you can buy any supplement policy the company sells during this period. If you wait too long to apply for Medicare coverage and pass the time span of your open enrollment period, there is no promise that an insurance company will sell you a policy. When your open enrollment period is over, insurance companies are permitted to decide whether they will accept your application and how much they will charge you for the policy by the use of medical underwriting.

Medicare Supplement Policy Costs

The cost of Medicare supplement policies can differ widely because the premiums that insurance companies charge will vary from company to company. The coverage with each policy is always the same, no matter what company you choose, so keep that in mind when you are shopping around for a supplement policy. Also, remember that the cost goes up once your open enrollment period ends.

What is Medicare SELECT?

As mentioned earlier, some states offer another type of supplement policy known as Medicare SELECT. Medicare SELECT can be any of the standardized Supplement Plans A through L; however, you must use certain hospitals and sometimes, specific doctors in order to receive your full insurance benefits (except in emergency situations). Medicare SELECT policies are generally cheaper than other Medicare Supplement policies, but you will have to pay whatever costs Medicare doesn’t pay in non-emergency situations.

View And Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance Online

Online Medicare Supplement Insurance help is never farther than a click or phone call away. Thankfully it is easier than ever to maneuver through the maze of Medicare Part A and Part B as well as the many Medigap plans used to fill in the holes. The first step when taking the leap into the world of Medicare is to find out as much as you can about what is covered and what is not by Medicare Part A and Part B.
When it comes to taking the leap into gap insurance online advisors will guide you through what is available and help shop the Medigap market to find the best premiums that you qualify for. As rates change each year you will want to contact your online Medicare Supplement Insurance provider to get updates on lower rates from other Medigap Insurance providers. An online advisor is helpful in helping determine exactly what gap insurance program you should enroll in according to prior history and current lifestyle.
An over view to Medicare Supplement Insurance plans will give clients the most basic look into the different plans available. A sample of the Supplement Insurance Plans Medicare has to offer is listed below. You can see just from glancing below how vary different the coverage is and why it is important to determine which plan is best on an individual basis.
Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medigap Plan F is the most comprehensive supplement plan available for 2012.
100% of the gaps left by Medicare Part A and Part B are covered under Plan F.
Individuals are free to see any doctor or specialist, who accepts Medicare, without needing a referral.
This plan allows individuals to pay nothing out of pocket for any Medicare approved expense.
Plan F is the most widely used plan for Medicare participants.
Medicare Supplement Plan G
Medigap Plan G is often compared directly to Plan F; the main difference being that individuals pay the Medicare Part B deductible out of pocket as it is not covered by Plan G.
Another popular option in Medicare Supplement Insurance plans to enroll in.
Once the Medicare Part B deductible is covered, 100% of the Medicare Part A and Part B gaps are covered with Medigap Plan G.
Lower premiums than Plan F.
Medicare Supplement Plan N
Similar to the above plans, Medicare Supplement Plan N offers the convenience of being able to be seen by any doctor that accepts Medicare without being part of a network.
Lower monthly premiums than Supplement Plan F and Plan G.
Cost-sharing option for emergency room visit co-pays, doctor visits co-pays up to $20 each visit after the Medicare Part B deductible has been met.
When entering into the Medicare Supplement maze it is best to find a source for information that is reliable and up to date. Online Medicare Supplement Insurance advisors will help individuals find the best plan for your needs while offering the ability to compare rates from the hundreds of private insurance companies offering Medicare Supplement Insurance for sale.

Adjustments Arriving at Medicare Supplement Insurance plan inside June regarding The year of 2010

popular terms to consult Medigap Insurance policy are generally Medicare supplemental health insurance Insurance plan as well as Medicare supplement. The actual breaks around Unique Medicare are usually loaded by simply Medicare supplement and also Medicare Supplements. Treatment Edge isn’t the exact same thing being a Medicare supplemental insurance plus the not one but two really should not be perplexed.

Medicare supplement plans will likely be affected by the changes going on within July associated with The year 2010 this means you should learn with regards to these kinds of improvements at this point.

The National Relationship of Insurance cover Commissioners indicated the new adjustments to help Medicare Supplement Insurance cover. Consumers will likely be safeguarded by way of these brand-new changes. Duplicate protection will be taken out and other insurance plan might be available.

During the early Nineties the current ideas are intended together come to be rancid. A lot of the gains within the previous programs could not be compiled. Many people believed that it was high time to get alterations.

The latest Adjustments are listed below:

A person. Plans Elizabeth, K, We plus T are going to be removed 3. System Gary the gadget guy will be customized. The house Caution benefit is going to be eliminated and also unwanted charges covered from 100%. Several. Lower price Approach Michael as well as System N will probably be unveiled. Co-pays will probably be included in all these innovative blueprints. Five. Corporations presenting System Essential in addition provide Approach C plus System M. Five. Some sort of hospital gain will be built into brand new plans coming out.

The new modifications never have an affect on a specified quantity of programs. Everything is not really the fact that was initially imagined. The actual ideas do not accumulate obtainable in addition to the new strategies becoming developed.

Most organizations are going to be allowed to reset charges while using arrival of the completely new programs. Therefore companies that shall no longer be reasonably competitive will reset to zero prices. This can produce a much more aggressive marketplace. The reason they are able to make this happen is that brand-new plans should incorporate a Hospice profit.

The planned adjustments are great for consumers ageing directly into Medicare and also balanced individuals currently protected by means of Medicare insurance Added Insurance cover. How about those people harmful retirees stuck inside aged ideas? Because you can forget with the ancient ideas will be available, costs in these plans may possibly considerably raise and harmful seniors are unable to switch ideas.

medicare supplemental insurance Choices should be explored by means of almost all retired persons immediately. The current Medicare health insurance broker will be a great place to get started or even they could look for a whole new adviser. The net is a fantastic spot to research Medigap Insurance policy medicare supplemental insurance .

Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance

Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance

What is Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance and why you need it.

Also called Medigap Insurance it is sold by Private Insurance Companies and covers gaps in Medicare Coverage.

The Medicare program provides healthcare coverage to approximately 44 million Americans, making it America’s largest government-sponsored healthcare program in which qualifying consumers can enroll. However, even though it provides coverage for many health-related issues, Medicare often does not cover the full cost of healthcare for participants. Participants, therefore, need to be aware of what is and is not covered by their particular plan in order to ensure that they purchase necessary Medicare Supplement insurance or enroll in additional coverage plans, if needed.

Medicare coverage has deductibles that increase every year, and many gaps that could leave you with unlimited out-of-pocket expenses. A Medicare Supplement plan can help protect against these expenses.
Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance helps you pay for co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles and excess charges not normally covered by Medicare.

In addition, Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance also provides some Benefits not provided by Medicare. Its only for original Medicare. It doesnt provide insurance for other types of health coverage, including:

Medicare Advantage Plan
Stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans
Employer/Union Group Health Coverage
Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits

There are two reasons you need Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance:
1. Cover Gaps in Original Medicare
2. Receive Benefits not Covered by Original Medicare

In short, Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance Plans help you reduce out of pocket expenses not covered by original Medicare.

As the nations leading independent agency specializing in Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance Plans, MediGap Advisors can show you how you can save money with the best Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance plans that fit your needs and your situation.

Our professional advisors will take a look at your biggest health care expenses and show you the best Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance plans to protect you from charges that Medicare doesnt cover. Call 866-681-7712 to speak with a professional advisor.

The Inside Scoop On Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage Plans, And Medigap

It gets befuddling due to all the language that streams together. Case in point you have Medicare, you have Medicare supplements, and you have Medigap, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and everything else.

So for the normal individual, they begin looking in and they sort of block it out, however perhaps what I could demonstrate rapidly is the thing that Medicare is and what its target is. Medicare is health insurance for the elderly and debilitated individuals who meet all requirements for it, however it is in a qualification. It was marked into law 1965 and Medicare itself comes in four parts. Medicare part A, B, C and D.

It is pretty simple to recall that that An and B are the two privilege parts. Part An of Medicare is essential the hospitalization profits that you might get. Part A profits likewise offer talented nurturing consideration, hospice mind and some home mind health profits, however is paid for by goodness of you paying your fico or government managed savings charges over the greater part of the years. So you don’t pay an alternate red penny for that.

For Medicare Part B, you can select in on that or withdraw of it when you turn 65 and there are exceptional explanations behind that, which I will clarify later, however part B is essential your specialist profits, outpatient administrations and things of that nature and for that you do pay a premium. In 2013 the premiums are $104.90 and that changes as it is balanced each year dependent upon expansion calculates and different things.

So you have Medicare part An and Medicare part B, which are the qualification parts of the Medicare program. Well in the event that you had barely Medicare part An and B what you might find is that its not set to be sufficient to blanket all you needs. Essentially it is just set to blanket around the range of 48% of your sum medicinal expenses and with the high cost of doctor’s visit expenses today you can recognise the reality quite rapidly that you are set to need something to fill those holes and that is the place they come in with that term Medigap protection and that is a differentiate protection program.

It’s an arrangement you buy through a private insurance agency, additionally alluded to as Medicare supplements. You buy that by paying a premium and most the greater part of your doctor’s visit expenses are set to be secured as a consequence of having Medicare part An and B and after that having the Medicare supplement protection and the Medicare approach.

Right away part C became possibly the most important factor when congress was taking a gander at the entire scenario and understood that they have a wave of seniors taking a stab at them, in excess of ten thousand individuals a day are maturing in and qualify to be beneficiaries or beneficiaries of Medicare parts An and B profits. That’s a pricey thing the extent that the regulatory sets back the ol’ finances for the administration to oversee the An and B profits. So they passed this plan change act in 1997, where they now pay insurance agencies to assume control over the organization of the part An and B profits and that made part C or what now is regarded as Medicare Advantage items.

They began offering harshly around the year 2000 and those are exceptionally ubiquitous, on the grounds that a hefty portion of them have a zero premium or an extremely low premium versus a given, where you might have a Medicare supplement stack or a Medigap strategy and pay a high premium for that and also requiring the professionally prescribed medication program. With part C Medicare Advantage plans, what that bears an individual is then they just pay no premium or an exceptionally low premium and just pay when they utilize it instead of paying the given premiums for the Medigap Insurance.

Part D is the professionally prescribed pill profit and how that lives up to expectations is that it can either be included or joined into a part C plan, or it might be what they call a standalone physician endorsed medication program that you buy with an extra premium with a Medigap arrangement. So might be the Abc’s. A, B might be the qualification divide of Medicare. C might be the Medicare Advantage programs that numerous individuals are taking out today and afterward part D might be physician recommended medication programs.

Right away Medicaid is a health profit for individuals with low livelihoods, then obviously you have the contrasts being that Medicare is a legislature program and Medigap are protection strategies that you buy through a private insurance agency. Medicare Advantage programs again is an alternate approach that you might buy with a Medicare affirmed insurance agency.

Choosing A Medicare Supplement Insurance Policy Five Things To Understand About Medigap Insurance

Anyone 65 years of age and over who has signed on for Medicare is likely going to realize that Medicare only covers a finite group of health care costs, leaving gaps in their medical insurance coverage. To help pay some of the health care costs that standard Medicare does’nt cover, such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles, there is Medicare supplemental insurance plan – also known as Medigap – which may cover what Medicare doesn”t cover.

“When you choose a Medigap plan, it is important to find the best policy for you,” said Alan Weinstock, insurance broker at “Medicare Supplement Plans”. “Seniors should talk to someone who knows [about it] and can help them compare rates, plans and benefits for Medicare supplement insurance before they buy.”

For older Americans who are ready to choose a Medicare supplemental insurance policy, here are five tips to help them learn further about Medigap insurance.

Medigap Insurance and the Policies Companies Sell

There are Medigap plans ranging from A through L; however, while the insurance companies can sell only standardized Medicare supplement insurance policies, they don”t have to offer every Medigap plan. There is a caveat, though: Insurance companies must offer Medigap Plan A if they offer any other Medigap policy. State laws may also affect which plans are offered by companies.

Important Information about Medigap Policies

In order to buy a Medigap policy, there are some important points you need to know:

You need to have Medicare Part A and Part B.

There are monthly premium rates you have to pay for Medicare supplemental insurance.

Your policy cannot be cancelled, even for health reasons, as long as you pay your premium.

Each plan only covers one person. That means you and your spouse will have to buy separate policies.

Choosing the Best Time to Buy Medicare Supplement Insurance

The best time to buy Medigap insurance is during your Medigap open enrollment period, which is the six-month period that begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. During this period, insurance companies cannot use medical underwriting, so they cannot refuse to sell you a Medigap policy, charge you more because of health problems or make you wait for coverage to start, except in some cases for pre-existing conditions.

After the open enrollment period, Medigap insurance companies are generally allowed to use medical underwriting. Therefore, there is no guarantee they will sell you a policy.

Insurance Company Pricing of Medicare Supplement Insurance

Insurance companies decide individually how to price their policies. There are three ways they can set the price: community or no-age rated, issue-age rated or attained-age rated. Be sure and ask them how they do it, because the way they set the price affects how much you pay now and in the future.

Know What Medigap Policies Don”t Cover

Medigap policies don”t cover long-term care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, private-duty nursing and prescription drugs, vision or dental care. Prescription drug coverage can be obtained by joining the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or Part D.
The important thing is to seek out experts and ask questions when looking to purchase Medigap insurance.

Essential Medicare Supplement Coverage

Having high-quality health care insurance is an absolute must in the world we live in these days. The price of health care keeps increasing and the protection made available down. The end result, a lot of people decide that insurance policies are an added benefit that they’ll do without. The result of this becomes families and senior citizens left not insured leave financial futures in disrepair. It is crucial that you take control and manage your health insurance, including seniors and Medicare.

Many retirees believe that they shall be denied healthcare coverage because of health conditions that are pre-existing conditions. That is a myth. Medicare coverage is guaranteed coverage in spite of your current health condition. It is also important to remember that Medicare does not charge extra higher rates either even if you come in the worst health imaginable you will get Medicare insurance coverage if you are sixty-five or older and qualify set forth.

One thing to bear in mind with that all being stated is the fact that Medicare insurance does not cover everything you will be needing in regards to healthcare insurance coverage. Medicare insurance Part A and B insure the basics, hospital and physicians coverage. Medicare supplemental insurance is provided available for sale to protect the extras. Of course, supplemental insurance policies does have a regular monthly premium required but don’t forget this cost of insurance is much less that it’s going to cost you in the case when some thing arises and you are uninsured.

Should you sign up while in the first six months after you enroll in Medicare part B, insurance providers can’t raise your rate or refuse coverage based on your health. After that open-enrollment period, you’ll need to be in good health to change plans with 2 exceptions.

At this time there are several guaranteed-issue plans available regardless of health problems, such as AARP policies which are not offered through agents. Otherwise, if you are in New York, all the plans are guaranteed-issue therefore it is much easier to change plans. In that case, check out available plans annually to keep the best insurance policy coverage with the best price.

Remember that a few companies still require you to submit paperwork your self. Most companies handle that electronically in order to save you the difficulties, which can be troublesome if you’re in poor health.

While the insurance coverage is identical, company standards do differ. Despite the fact that one company might not sell you a plan, yet another one may offer you a good rate. Independent brokers can generally direct you to insurance companies more prone to accept particular health issues. Be sure you never get rid of your existing insurance plan before the new insurance policy is in effect.

Web based Medicare Supplement Insurance help is never farther than a click or call away. Fortunately it is easier than ever to maneuver through the maze of Medicare Part A and Part B in addition to the numerous Medigap plans used to fill in the gaps. The 1st step when taking the leap into the world of Medicare is to find out as much as it is possible to about what is included and what is not by Medicare Part A and Part B.

When it comes to taking the jump into gap insurance coverage on-line advisors will guide you through what is offered and help shop the Medigap market to get the best premiums that you qualify for. As premiums change each year you’ll want to contact your on-line Medicare Supplement Insurance company to get updates on lower rates from other Medigap Insurance providers. A web based advisor is helpful in helping determine exactly what gap insurance program you ought to enroll in according to prior history and present lifestyle.

An over view to Medigap Insurance plans will give consumers the most basic look into the different plans available. A sample of the Supplement Insurance Plans Medicare has to offer is listed below. A person can see simply from glancing below just how vary different the protection is and why it is very important determine which plan is best on an individual basis.

Medicare insurance policies is vital to those that happen to be depending on it. Seniors, most particularly, should be assured of having a completely functional plan that would protect them from the uncomfortable health possibilities. But, because it is well known that Medicare does not offer a completely comprehensive coverage, these people turn their attention to obtaining supplement insurance coverage that will complete the gaps in the protection. Senior citizens are especially interested in Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Aides Fight Against Cancer

As a screening option to detect colorectal cancer, colonoscopy uses a lighted tube called an endoscope inserted into the colon and rectum to look for and remove polyps that may lead to cancer.

Medicare Covers Screening to Detect Colorectal Cancer

Medicare covers a colonoscopy once every two years if you are at high risk for colorectal cancer. High-risk groups are those who have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, people with a family history of colorectal cancer, or anyone with inflammatory bowel disease.

If you’re not in a high-risk group, Medicare will cover a colonoscopy once every ten years, but not within four years of a flexible sigmoidoscopy. There is no minimum age requirement for Medicare to cover colonoscopy.

If you are at least 50 years of age, Medicare also covers a fecal occult blood test once a year, and a flexible sigmoidoscopy once every four years. Barium enema is also covered only if performed on its own, rather than in addition to the other tests.

A fecal occult blood test finds blood in the stool by placing a small stool sample on a chemically treated card, cloth wipe, or pad. A chemical solution is put on the sample, and blood is detected if it turns blue.

Fecal occult blood tests may check for intestinal conditions, including colorectal cancer, but not all blood in the stool is caused by cancer. It could result from eight other conditions, including the use of aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs.

Sigmoidoscopy is a screening tool that refers to examination of the large intestine from the rectum. A sigmoidoscopy is not the same as a colonoscopy, though. A sigmoidoscopy only examines up to the sigmoid, or the most distal part of the colon. A colonoscopy examines the entire large bowel.

Medicare will cover these services without requiring a Part B deductible, and it will cover 100 percent of the fecal occult blood test. If you are in a Medicare private HMO or PPO plan, you may have a copay, though. For the other tests, Medicare will cover 80 percent of the costs, or 75 percent of a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy performed in an ambulatory surgical center or hospital outpatient department.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Can Fill in the Gaps in Medicare Coverage

Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap Insurance, can pay for expenses that are not covered through traditional Medicare. Medigap policies must have standardized benefits, but the costs can vary. You may be able to choose up to 12 different Medigap policies (Plans A through L) until June of this year. Then, four of the existing Medigap Plans are being dropped, and two new Medigap Plans are being added.

Each plan has a different set of benefits. The benefits of any Medigap Plan A, for instance, are the same regardless of which insurance company sells it, but the price may vary from different companies. That makes it important to compare companies and plans.

You generally need to have Medicare Part A and Part B to buy Medigap Insurance. You’ll pay a monthly Part B premium, and a premium for the Medigap policy. Medigap Insurance won’t cover your spouse, so you need separate policies.

By taking advantage of this Medicare coverage for screening to detect colorectal cancer, you can stop colorectal cancer before it endangers your health. Medicare Supplement Insurance can also help with any costs that Medicare does not cover.