Sunday, January 15, 2006

insurance, supplemental

Many insurance companies offer supplemental insurance policies designed to help cover the cost uninsured by Medicare. Known as "Medigap" insurance, these policies will frequently cover the deductible and some of the shared costs. Supplemental insurance usually does not require a physical examination. Most insurance companies may offer one such a plan and some companies may offer several with different ranges and types of health costs covered. Generally, the more a plan covers, the more it will cost the individual. Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS (AARP) and many other groups have plans that can be explored to help cushion the financial impact of health problems, especially during extended illnesses of the older individual.
Older people should be wary of mail-order or newspaper-supplement insurance offers and be sure to read the fine print. Many of these plans do not pay for the first week of hospital care or provide nursing home or psychiatric care benefits. Buying insurance policies that duplicate one another is unnecessary and can lead to payment of excessive premiums.
See also MEDICAID; MEDICARE.
Deedy, J. Your Aging Parents. Chicago: The Thomas More Press, 1984.
Gillies, J. A Guide to Caring for and Coping with Aging Parents. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981.

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