Medicare And Medicare Supplement Insurance See Burgeoning Enrollment

As more and more citizens approach retirement age, it’s not surprising that we see growing awareness of the need for fitness, health care and nutrition among seniors. That need is actually recognized around the country with the National Senior Health & Fitness Day. Already in its 18th year, activities are held on the last Wednesday of May in recognition of Older Americans Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

It’s the country’s biggest event that specifically promotes health activities for seniors. This year, it’s expected that more than 100,000 seniors will join in the sponsored health and wellness activities around the nation on May 25.

With the leading edge of the baby boomers becoming eligible for Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance this year, you’ll see some major health insurance companies sponsoring events to promote physical fitness, good nutrition and preventive care.

Medicare Benefits Increase In 2011

This is also the first year that Medicare, along with other health insurance plans purchased after health care reform, offers preventive care services with no out-of-pocket costs. In alignment with improving health among seniors, encouraging regular preventive care can help seniors maintain their independence longer to enjoy active, vibrant lifestyles.

We know from examples like Betty White and Dick Van Dyke that people continue to work quite successfully into their late eighties, but maintaining good health is the key. While Medicare now covers preventive care at 100 percent, it still has gaps in coverage for people with failing health.

The deductibles for Part A benefits for hospital coverage and Part B benefits on doctor services are increased yearly and coverage is still less than 100 percent after those deductibles are met. Medicare Supplemental Insurance, which is commonly called Medigap Insurance, as well as Medicare Advantage Plans help to lessen the burden left by Medicare’s spotty benefits in different ways.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Can Make Medicare Coverage Complete

There is quite a selection of different ways to improve Medicare’s coverage so there is no single “best” Medigap Insurance for all seniors. Medicare Advantage Plans are governed by Medicare, but still have variations in their rules and restrictions on non-urgent and non-emergency care options. With greater structure, Medicare Supplement Plans have less diversity. These plans are divided into 10 benefit packages that are labeled Plan A through Plan N.

As you probably noticed, some Plans (like E, H, etc.) are not available. The latest additions, Plans M and N, just became available last year. Perhaps the reason why there are different versions of Medicare Supplement Insurance is that different people have a variety of health-related needs.

For people who have conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes that can require regular monitoring by a doctor, certain Medigap Plans make up the difference after Medicare pays it’s 80 percent of doctor fees at the pre-determined rate. If you need to see a doctor who actually charges higher fees than Medicare will cover, there are also Medigap Plans that take care of the excess charges.

Realistically, National Senior Health & Fitness Day is just the start of what should be a major push to educate us all on how to meet our health-related needs as we age. Maintaining health and independence demands a comprehensive approach that includes the right exercise plan, complete health insurance options and nutrition that’s sustaining.