Dental Vision Hearing Insurance for Seniors and Medicare Beneficiaries

It’s important to always be mindful of your overall health. That includes everything – from the aches and pains you feel to your teeth and your eyesight!

Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not include extensive dental, vision, and hearing insurance for seniors and Medicare beneficiaries. If you are looking for dental, vision, and hearing insurance, you should consider a Medicare Advantage plan.

Original Medicare only includes Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (doctor coverage), but Medicare Advantage plans, also called Part C, generally include dental benefits, vision benefits, hearing benefits, prescription drug coverage, and more!

Original Medicare covers limited dental, vision, and hearing procedures:

  • Oral examinations as part of another hospital stay
  • A jaw disease, oral cancer, face tumor, or face fracture-related procedure
  • Infections caused by dental procedures
  • Severe and medically necessary eye procedures and tests such as cataract surgery and corrective lenses following surgery
  • Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, and Diabetic Retinopathy tests
  • Hearing tests that are a part of your primary physician’s routine well-visit
  • Cochlear implants

Does Medicare pay for hearing aids?

Woman Who's Hard of Hearing | Medicare Plan Finder

Original Medicare does not cover everything. Medicare Advantage plans can add the following hearing insurance for seniors benefits:

  • Treatments for hearing problems
  • Hearing aids
  • Hearing aid fittings
  • Hearing aid exams
  • Hearing tests

Hearing Aid Costs

Medicare Advantage health insurance plans can help cover hearing aid costs associated with fittings, exams, and tests.

Hearing aid costs can range anywhere from $400 to $4,000 per ear. Even if the initial device isn’t too expensive, you may have to pay the costs of a hearing aid fitting, hearing aid exams, and replacement hearing aids every five years or so.

When you add everything together, you could be paying thousands of dollars over your lifetime for your ear care. Luckily, a Medicare Advantage plan is a solution that may help you out financially.

Hearing Aid Brands

When choosing hearing aid brands, details matter! Have an idea of your budget, your ear size, and how you will be using the hearing aid. Will you wear it all day long? Can you afford to splurge a little on your hearing aid?

Some of the most highly-rated hearing aid brands are Phonal, Unitron, Signia, Sonic, and Widex – but be careful! Not all Medicare Advantage plans will cover all hearing aid brands. Be sure to carefully look at the provider network before you select a plan to make sure that hearing aid brands you like are included. Some insurance companies may also give recommendations.

Hearing Aid Types

Just like there are numerous hearing aid brands, there are also numerous hearing aid types. Some of the most common hearing aid types are as follows:

  • Invisible-In-the-Canal (IIC)
    • Custom-fitted to your ear canal
    • Invisible when worn
    • Great for mild to moderate hearing loss
  • Completely-In-Canal (CIC)
    • Custom-fitted to your ear canal
  • In-The-Canal (ITC)
    • Custom-made to fit in your ear canal with small portion showing outside of the ear
    • Great for mild to mildly severe hearing loss
  • In-The-Ear (ITE)
    • Custom-made to fit outer portion of your ear
    • Great for mild to severe hearing loss
  • Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)
    • Barely seen when worn
    • Uses electrical wires instead of a plastic tube
    • Great for mild to moderate hearing loss
  • Behind-The-Ear (BTE)
    • Housed in casing behind the ear
    • Tube directs sound into earmold fitted inside the ear canal
    • Great for moderate to severe hearing loss

Medicare Dental Coverage

Doctor and Patient | Medicare Plan Finder

Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Medicare Advantage plans can add the following dental insurance for seniors:

  • Dental issues caused by another procedure, such as for jaw disease or a kidney transplant
  • Dentures and denture care
  • Fillings and extractions
  • Routine checkups

Does Medicare pay for dentures?

If denture or dental implant coverage is important you, then you should consider a Medicare Advantage plan as dental insurance for seniors.

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans provide Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage) plus additional coverage like prescription drugs, vision, hearing, and dental health!

Most Medicare Advantage dental plans cover dentures and much more — cleanings, x-rays, annual exams, fillings, pullings, and root canals.

Supplemental Dental Insurance for Seniors on Medicare

Seniors and Medicare eligibles may not find the oral health coverage they need with Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans. For example, a Medicare Advantage plan might cover routine dental services (like preventive care), but not major services like dental implants.

Medicare Supplements (Medigap) are private plans that cover financial items like Original Medicare copays and coinsurance. With a Medicare Supplement plan, you pay a monthly premium and you don’t pay a separate copay or coinsurance when you visit the doctor*.

You cannot have both a Medicare Advantage and a Medicare Supplement plan at the same time. It’s important to know how each type of plan can save you money. Contact your agent to discuss the difference between each type of plan, and ask how you can save money with each. Talk to your agent about your dental care needs, too. Your agent may be able to find a plan in your area that meets your budget needs along with your medical needs.

If you need additional coverage, you may be able to find private dental insurance plans that cover items such as dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, or orthodontics. Private dental plans, like Medicare Advantage plans, may be available as a dental PPO, HMO, or other plan type.

*Plan benefits can vary by plan. Some Medicare Supplements cover copays for doctor’s appointments. Medicare Supplements only help cover Medicare-approved charges.

Dental Discount Plans

Instead of a dental insurance plan, you may be able to find a dental discount plan in your area. With a dental discount plan, you’ll pay an annual fee upfront (instead of a monthly premium). You won’t have copayments, but you’ll have discounted rates on your dental services (if you see a network dentist). You would pay the dentist directly. Talk to your agent about discount plan options.

Medicare Vision Coverage

Original Medicare does not cover everything. Medicare Advantage plans can add the following vision benefits:

  • Routine eye checkups
  • Eye exams
  • Glasses
  • Contacts

Medicare Eyeglasses Providers

Each Medicare Advantage plan will have its own provider network. That means that not all Medicare eyeglasses providers will accept the plan you choose.

When shopping for a Medicare Advantage plan, you should always look at the provider network and make sure that your favorite doctor or other vision provider accepts the plan you choose.

Medicare Advantage PPO

There are several different types of Medicare Advantage plans. If you’re looking for dental, vision, or hearing insurance for seniors a Medicare Advantage PPO plan is a good way to go. PPOs are one of the most popular types of Medicare Advantage plans.

A Medicare Advantage PPO is ideal because even though there are doctor and pharmacy networks, you can go to other doctors and pharmacies. You may not have as much coverage with out-of-network doctors and pharmacies, but at least you have that option.

You do not need to select one primary care doctor and usually do not need referrals, meaning that if you need to go to a vision specialist, you can technically go to any provider.

Medicare Advantage plans are convenient because all the coverage you need can be rolled into one plan with one monthly premium. Some MA plans even offer low deductibles in exchange for high premiums!

Enroll in Medicare

Are you interested in getting dental, vision and hearing insurance for seniors? A Medicare Advantage plan may be the perfect solution!

Our agents with Medicare Plan Finder can answer any questions you may have and may be able to help you find the best plan for your needs and budget. If you’re interested in arranging a no-cost, no-obligation appointment, fill out this form or call us at 844-431-1832.

*This post was originally published on March 16, 2017, by Anastasia Iliou. The latest update was on November 26, 2019, by Troy Frink. 

Simply Explained: Ancillary Insurance

Private Medicare plans like Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements can cover a lot of benefits, but they generally don’t cover everything. Ancillary insurance products like separate dental plans, heart attack insurance, and life insurance are all important too.

Depending on what Medicare plan(s) you have, ancillary insurance products might be necessary to provide you with the comprehensive coverage and peace of mind you need.

What Are Ancillary Insurance Products?

What Are Ancillary Products? | Medicare Plan Finder
What Are Ancillary Products? | Medicare Plan Finder

Our ancillary insurance definition is any insurance product that is beyond the scope of traditional health insurance or is not included in your healthcare plan. One of the most common ancillary products is life insurance – but ancillary goes far beyond that. Ancillary private health insurance can help you cover the healthcare needs that your Medicare insurance does not cover.

Here are some of the ancillary products that our agents sell:

You might think, “wow, do I really need all of those?” You might not – but if you do, you might be able to bundle your benefits. For example, you might be able to find a combination dental and vision plan, or a combination heart attack and stroke plan. Whether or not you need any of these products can depend on your finances, your genetic probability of contracting certain conditions, and what types of plans are available in your area.

Ancillary insurance products are never meant to replace your current health insurance. They are additional products that supplement your existing coverage. 

What are examples of ancillary services?

The term “ancillary services” refers to medical services that are not typically provided by your primary care physician. It could mean a service provided by a specialist for your critical illness, a therapist for your long-term disability, etc. Some of these services might already be covered by your disability insurance, Medicaid, or another health plan – but many are likely not covered.

Here’s a list of ancillary services to consider when deciding whether or not you need ancillary insurance:

  • Ambulance care
  • At-home preventative care
  • Audiology
  • Behavioral health
  • Chronic care
  • Heart monitoring
  • Home healthcare and private nurses
  • Home medical equipment
  • Hospice
  • Infusion therapy
  • Lab tests
  • Medical daycare
  • Mobile services and testing
  • Orthotics/prosthetics
  • Radiology
  • Rehabilitation of any kind
  • Specialized imaging
  • Transitional care
  • Ventilator services

Dental, Vision, and Hearing

Three of the most common types of ancillary insurance plans are those for hearing, vision, and dental coverage. Original Medicare will only pay for some of your very specific dental, vision, and hearing costs. 

Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B ancillary services are limited to what your primary physician or hospital staff can do. For example, if you schedule an annual wellness visit with your primary physician and they perform a quick hearing and eye exam, that visit is still covered under your Medicare Part B. Additionally, if you have a medically necessary jaw surgery or receive face tumor treatment in a hospital, most of the related dental work falls under your Medicare Part A. However, if you end up needing more dental, hearing, or vision care, it won’t be covered by Original Medicare.

Private vision, hearing, and dental insurance can help you cover your costs and help you stay on top of your healthcare. Some Medicare Advantage plans include all of these benefits, so before you select an ancillary product, check to see if there is a Medicare Advantage plan in your zip code that makes sense for you. 

Short-Term Care

A short-term plan will cover you for up to a year for a temporary injury or illness. For the most part, long-term care is included in your Original Medicare. Short-term care, however, is always an add-on option through a qualified ancillary insurance plan. If you’re concerned about short-term care, let your insurance agent know. They will help you decide whether Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, or another ancillary product will be best for your short-term care needs.

Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke 

Medicare parts A and B, respectively, will cover your hospital stays and doctor visits relating to cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Some policies are as simple as large payments upon diagnosis.

Others may include annual payouts based on costs, even including loss of income, childcare, travel to facilities, home health care, rehabilitation/therapy, and any other out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare does not cover.

If you feel comfortable, it helps to disclose your and your family’s medical history when speaking with an agent. That way, the agent can determine whether an ancillary plan for cancer, heart attacks, or strokes is right for you.

Hospital Indemnity

Ancillary hospital indemnity policies are the best, cheapest way to save your piggy bank in the event of an extended hospital stay.

The average cost for one night in the hospital is between $1500-$3000. Your Medicare plan will help cover most of that, but not all, and does not include additional procedures and prescription drugs.

You’ll send in a claim stating what your copayment was, and your carrier will send you a check for a percentage of that amount. This will be especially beneficial if you foresee any medical procedures that will require an extended hospital stay.

Life & Final Expense 

Final expenses are any costs associated with funerals, burials, and sometimes medical bills for your final hours. You can buy a final expense whole life plan, meaning the policy lasts for your entire life, or a final expense term life plan, which lasts for a set number of years.

Final expense policies help to reimburse your family members for expenses surrounding your death. You must appoint a beneficiary to receive the reimbursement when you purchase your policy. You will have the ability to change your beneficiary after your policy has been active for a year.

Life insurance is different from final expense because it insures additional finances. For example, it can help your family pay off your mortgage or other debts after you pass. If you don’t already have life insurance, it’s best to invest as soon as possible, because costs will increase as you age.

How Ancillary Benefits Work

Your ancillary insurance carriers could be the same as your carriers for other insurance plans, or they could be different. For example, carriers who sell auto and home insurance are likely also to sell life insurance. Additionally, carriers who sell Medicare Advantage plans are likely to sell other individual health benefit plans.

Even if you have Medicare, ancillary plans provide voluntary benefits and do not fall under Medicare laws. You can enroll in ancillary products during any time of the year (unless you are enrolling through your employee benefits package, in which case your employer might have an enrollment period).

Ancillary billing will be completely separate from your Medicare coverage. If you are still employed, some ancillary benefits can be employer-contributory, meaning your employer agrees to pay part of your premium.

Many ancillary products, like cancer insurance plans, pay by lump sum. With our cancer example, you would receive a lump sum cash benefit upon diagnosis. Keep in mind that a product like that may not be available after you’ve already been diagnosed. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, ancillary products can and will put you through medical underwriting and can deny you for preexisting conditions.

The Advantages of Ancillary Benefits

When you start looking through all of the available Medicare health plans, you may discover that while many of the available plans could work for you, they aren’t perfect. Additional benefits for Medicare beneficiaries can be hard to come by, especially if you live in an area that does not have many plan options to choose from. Some Medicare plans do offer additional rider insurance (extra health benefits), but they might not be exactly what you need.

That’s why ancillary services insurance may be a good idea. If you can’t find a good Medicare Advantage plan that covers all of your additional medical concerns, like dental, vision, hearing, cancer, heart attack, etc. – ancillary might be the route to go. You will still need coverage for healthcare, so make sure you stay enrolled in Medicare. Then, you can add whichever ancillary products make sense for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ancillary Insurance Products 

Discussing Ancillary Insurance Products With an Agent | Medicare Plan Finder
Discussing Ancillary Insurance Products With an Agent | Medicare Plan Finder

You may have many questions about ancillary products, insurance coverage, and costs, including:

Q: Why aren’t these ancillary benefits included in my Medicare plan?

A: Each individual who has enrolled in Medicare has different healthcare needs. You can select a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplemental insurance plan that fits your needs, then select any additional ancillary products separately.

Q: Why didn’t my agent discuss these with me sooner?

A: If an agent visited with you to discuss Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Supplements, they likely were not legally allowed to discuss ancillary plans with you. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has specific rules in place to protect you. If you’d like to discuss ancillary insurance products, your agent will need to come back another day.

Q: How much do these products cost?

A: Costs for ancillary plans vary depending on your needs and what the policy covers. Your agent can discuss any details and help you find the right fit.

Q: So how do I get ancillary insurance?

A: If you are employed, your employer may or may not provide ancillary plans. The best way to get information about ancillary benefits is to speak to your agent.

Get the Ancillary Plans You Need Today

We have insurance agents available who can help you select from the available Medicare Advantage plans for 2020 as well as other ancillary products. Speak with a licensed & local agent today by calling 844-431-1832 or contact us here

Call Medicare Plan Finder | Medicare Plan Finder
Call Medicare Plan Finder | Medicare Plan Finder

How Mail Order Prescriptions Can Save You Time and Money

Did you know that you can order your prescriptions online and save money? That’s right – no more rushing to get to the pharmacy on time or having to ask someone to pick up your prescriptions for you. You may even be able to schedule your prescriptions to deliver exactly when you need them with automatic refills!

Pros and Cons of Mail Order Pharmacy

Using a Mail-Order Pharmacy | Medicare Plan Finder
Using a Mail-Order Pharmacy | Medicare Plan Finder

Ordering prescriptions from a mail order pharmacy comes with pros and cons.

Pros

  • Time Saving: You can save hours by not having to make monthly, weekly, or daily trips to the pharmacy. All you’ll have to do is click a button and wait to receive your medications – no standing in line, no rushing to get to the pharmacy.
  • Cost Saving: You can save money on gas and help minimize wear and tear on your car. Using a mail order pharmacy eliminates the need to travel.
  • Automatic Refills: Most mail-order offer an automatic refill option. This is great for people who forget to have their prescriptions refilled or pick them up. Some pharmacies will even call your doctor to renew your prescriptions!

Cons

  • Waiting for Prescriptions: Even though you can order your prescriptions with the click of a button, you still have to wait for your prescriptions. That can be a drawback if you need your prescription immediately.
  • Prescriptions Can Be Lost: It’s rare, but sometimes prescriptions can be lost in the mail. However, most mail-order pharmacies will re-ship your medication at no additional cost. If you’re concerned about package theft, it may be in your best interest to pick up prescriptions in person.
  • Automatic Refills: Having your prescriptions refilled automatically can be both a pro and a con. If you’re someone who usually sets and forgets, you could end up with a lot more pills than you need!

The Delivery Fee

Contrary to popular belief, most mail order prescriptions can be delivered without a shipping fee! If delivery fees are what was holding you back from using an online pharmacy, you can check that off your list. Pharmacies don’t have to charge a shipping fee because mailing your prescriptions can actually save them money.

They don’t have to pay for the time and labor it takes to stock prescriptions in-store and they can ship to you directly from a warehouse. There may be shipping fees associated with medical equipment and supplies, but most prescriptions can ship free.

When Should I Stick to my Local Retail Pharmacy?

There are only a few downsides to mail order prescriptions. Mainly, you will lose out on the face-to-face interaction with your pharmacist. However, you can always call your pharmacist to ask questions or speak to your doctor instead.

Your local retail pharmacy, like a CVS or Walgreens, can delivery your prescriptions to your door as well. If you are comfortable using your local retail pharmacy instead of searching for a new mail order pharmacy, stick to it instead of trying to fix what is not broken.

When Should I Expect to Receive my Prescription?

Some prescriptions may take up to 14 days to arrive at your door, so you may still need to visit your pharmacy in person to get your cold medicine and other immediate needs.

Long-term prescriptions, though, can be automatically mailed when you need them. If you work with your pharmacy to set up auto-refills, you should receive your prescription in the mail well before you need it so that you never run out of your medication.

Top Mail Order Pharmacies

It’s always a good idea to start by checking if your health plan has its own mail order pharmacy. Many carriers do, and they can save you a lot of money that way! For example, Cigna just merged with digital pharmacy Express Scripts. You can also check with your favorite drugstore chain. CVS, Walgreens, and Publix are just three examples of chains that offer prescription delivery services. You can also consider the following:

Blink Health – What’s unique about Blink Health is that you can have your prescriptions delivered to your home, or you can pick them up from a local participating pharmacy. Either way, you can see the prices before you buy and choose the cheapest and easiest option for you.

EnvisionPharmacies – Envision is divided into three parts. Envision Mail is a typical mail order prescription service, EnvisionSpecialty provides patient, caregiver, and provider support, and Envision Compounding is quite different. The compounding sector creates alternative forms of medications and sends them to patients who cannot swallow pills or have unique allergies.

HealthWarehouse.com – Selling both brand name and generic prescriptions for both you and your pets! Over the counter drugs, diabetic supplies, and home medical equipment is also available. Just create an account and ask your doctor to send your prescriptions to HealthWarehouse.

PillPack – Not only does PillPack allow you to order your medications online, but they can also sort your pills by dose for you. For example, if you both Drug A and Drug B at 8 AM every day, and you take Drug C at both 8 AM and 8 PM every day, you’ll receive two packs for each day: one that contains Drug A, Drug B, and Drug C and is labeled “8 AM,” and one that contains Drug C and is labeled “8 PM.” They are dated so that you won’t lose track. PillPack is now owned by Amazon.

How to Find a Safe Online Pharmacy

Any pharmacy your Medicare plan recommends will likely be legitimate. However, there are many fake online pharmacies that will try to scam you. They appear to be legitimate pharmacies but they actually send fake drugs.

To help raise awareness about these fake online pharmacies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched BeSafeRx. According to the FDA, a legitimate pharmacy will:

  • Require a valid prescription from your provider
  • Be licensed by your state board of pharmacy, or equivalent state agency. (To verify a pharmacy’s licensing status, check your state board of pharmacy.)
  • Have a U.S. state-licensed pharmacist on staff and on call to answer your questions
  • Be located in the United States, and provide a physical street address, not just a post office box

How to Report Illegal Medicine Sales

If you become aware of unlawful medicine sales, you can report the rogue pharmacy with the FDA. Fill out the form here with as much detail as possible.

How is my Insurance Plan’s Mail Order Pharmacy Different From Other Online Pharmacies?

Excellent question! Not every insurance plan has its own Medicare mail order pharmacy, so it is important to check your coverage and be sure that you have access to mailed prescriptions. 

Additionally, some insurance plan mail order pharmacies are limited in what they can offer, while private online pharmacies operate independently and can function just like a brick and mortar drug store.

Call Medicare Plan Finder | Medicare Plan Finder

Compare Prescription Costs

Even if you don’t want to use the internet for ordering prescriptions and having them delivered, you can at least use it to view drug prices. GoodRx is a leader in drug price tracking. All you have to do is type in the name of the prescription drug you need, and GoodRx can tell you what pharmacy has the best price! You can also use GoodRx to print free coupons and save as much as 80% on some drugs!

GoodRx Prescription Finder Tool

To use GoodRx’s prescription finder tool, click here. Then type your prescription in the search bar. We’re using atorvastatin (Lipitor) for demonstration purposes, but you can use any medication you want prices for. Then click “Find the Lowest Price” beside the red arrow.

Prescription Finder Step 1 | Medicare Plan Finder
Prescription Finder Step 1 | Medicare Plan Finder

Then you’ll come to the price list with several pharmacy options.

Prescription Finder Step 2 | Medicare Plan Finder
Prescription Finder Step 2 | Medicare Plan Finder

Prescription Savings Coupons

When GoodRx, mail-order prescriptions, and your Medicare coverage aren’t enough, there are prescription drug discount cards! Since these cards are not part of Medicare, you can sign up for a card at any time. Having a prescription drug savings card is sort of like having a coupon book.

There may be times when you don’t need your Rx card because your Medicare coverage gets you even bigger savings, but there are other times when your card can save you a lot of money!

Free Prescription Discount Card
Free Prescription Discount Card

Get Medicare Mail Order Pharmacy Coverage Today

Do you have a Medicare Advantage or a Part D prescription drug plan? Do you know if you qualify for LIS, a prescription drug savings program for Medicare beneficiaries? We can help answer your questions and make sure you are getting the best benefits at the best price, and make sure you are eligible for mail order prescriptions.Set up an appointment at no cost to you by calling us at 833-438-3676 or contact us here.

Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder
Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder

*This post was originally published on February 8, 2018 and last updated on September 23, 2019. 

Medicare Hearing Aids Coverage

Hearing aids can turn your entire life around, but you may need a private Medicare plan to be able to afford it. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) will only cover hearing tests under limited circumstances. That means no ear treatments, no hearing aids, or anything else.

Not every Medicare-eligible person needs ear treatments, which is why Medicare does not consider it an “essential benefit”.

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids Costs?

Doctor's Appointment | Medicare Plan Finder
Doctor’s Appointment | Medicare Plan Finder

Hearing aids can cost anywhere from $400 per ear to $4,000 or more per ear. Even if the initial device is not too expensive, you’ll have to remember that you’ll need to pay the costs of a hearing aid fitting, hearing aid exams, cleanings, and replacement hearing aids every five years or so.

Some providers may offer free cleanings and fittings with your hearing aid. When you add everything together, you could be paying thousands upon thousands over your lifetime for your ear care. Luckily, there is a solution that can help you out financially.

You may be able to get cheaper hearing aids by ordering online. However, by ordering a hearing aid online, you miss out on the doctor consultation and fitting.

Even if you think you don’t need the doctor consultation, remember that an experienced doctor can give you the medical advice you need to determine what kind of hearing aid you need and help you get the right fit.

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Tests?

Medicare does not cover hearing aid tests, fittings, or routine hearing exams. Medicare Part B will only cover hearing and balance tests if your doctor orders them to diagnose medical conditions. 

Medicare Advantage Plans that Cover Hearing Aids

The easiest way to get Medicare coverage for audiology appointments, treatments, hearing aids is to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. While some separate hearing benefit plans are available, it’s often not as cost-effective.

Medicare Advantage is a plan offered by private insurers that covers hospital visits, doctor visits, and other benefits like prescription drugs, vision, dental, and hearing.

Every year, you have the chance to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan between October 15 and December 7. You should start thinking about your needs now so you can be ready to switch in the fall!

Not all Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing benefits, so make sure you read everything carefully before you buy. Some plans will require that you buy a hearing aid from a specific provider.

Our agents can help make sure you get into a plan with all of the benefits you need. You can set up a no-cost, no-obligation appointment to review your benefits by calling 833-438-3676.

Medicare Advantage | Medicare Plan Finder
Medicare Advantage | Medicare Plan Finder

Senior Hearing Loss: An Epidemic

Medicare Hearing Aids | Medicare Plan Finder
Medicare Hearing Aids | Medicare Plan Finder

Hearing loss affects more than just your hearing. Your hearing is directly connected to your sense of balance, so hearing loss can lead to more trips and falls, leading to higher medical bills.

Additionally, people who experience hearing loss or more likely to also experience high blood pressure, depression, and even dementia. Hearing aids can reduce all of these symptoms and side effects.

Signs of Hearing Loss

Some signs of hearing loss might include:

  • Trouble focusing on a person’s speech, especially when there is background noise
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Finding yourself constantly raising the volume on your television or radio
  • Having a harder time hearing extremely high or extremely low pitches
  • Missing certain consonant sounds like “sh,” “th,” and “p.”
  • Leaving your car’s turn signal on because you don’t hear it
  • Not hearing your alarm clock in the morning

Hearing Loss Prevention

Some hearing loss prevention is purely the result of old age, but there are certain ways you can prevent the development of this ailment. The best way is to avoid circumstances where you will be surrounded by loud noises. Wear earplugs when attending concerts or events with big crowds, pay attention to the volume on your radio and TV, don’t sit too close to the speakers, etc.

You should also be sure to attend your yearly wellness exams. Your doctor may or may not check your hearing during these appointments (you may face an extra co-payment for audiology). Medicare Advantage plans often including a hearing benefit so that you can get coverage for regular hearing exams.

About Medicare Hearing Aids

While hearing aids can’t give a deaf person the ability to hear, they can help people with minimal to moderate hearing loss regain some hearing ability. Hearing aids effectively make sounds louder. There are a handful of ways to lose hearing ability, but hearing aids help those who have sensory cell damage in the inner ear.

Types of Hearing Aids

Medicare Hearing aids can work in two different ways: analog and digital. Analog hearing aids convert sound waves into amplified electrical signals. Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, then amplify them.

There are six different types of analog and digital hearing aids: IIC, CIC, ITC, ITE, RIC, and BTE. Your doctor may recommend one type over another based on your specific hearing needs and your budget.

  1. IIC (Invisible n Canal) – Fitted for your ear canal and invisible when worn. For mild to moderate hearing loss.
  2. CIC (Completely in Canal) – Fitted for your ear canal, small handle may be visible; for mild to moderate hearing loss
  3. ITC (In the Canal) – Fitted to your ear canal, small portion will show; for mild to mildly severe hearing loss
  4. ITE (In the Ear) – Fitted to your outer ear; for mild to severe hearing loss
  5. RIC (Reciever in Canal) – Barely visible, open and comfortable fit; uses electrical wires (as opposed to a plastic tube). For mild to moderate hearing loss
  6. BTE (Behind the Ear) – Fitted behind the ear, directs sound into a mold inside the ear; for moderate to severe hearing loss

Best Hearing Aids on the Market

Your doctor may recommend one hearing aid brand over another, and we recommend listening to your doctor’s opinion. However, we can tell you that some of the most highly-rated hearing aid brands are Resound, Phonak, Starkey, Widex, and Oticon.

If you’re getting coverage for your hearing aid from a Medicare Advantage plan, be careful. Your plan may require that you select from specific Medicare hearing aids. You should also consider that some hearing aid companies will offer trial periods.

Get Your Medicare Hearing Aids

Before you select and purchase a hearing aid, be sure to speak to a Medicare agent about finding coverage for your ear care. We recommend Medicare Advantage for most seniors and other Medicare-eligible people with hearing deficiencies.

Most people who are eligible for Medicare are eligible for several different Medicare Advantage plans. Our agents are licensed to sell most of those plans and can help you select the best one for your needs. To set up your free appointment, send us a note or call us at 833-438-3676.

Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder
Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder

*This post was originally published on February 22, 2018, and updated on August 19, 2019.

A Guide to Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Medicare is a great resource for covering your healthcare costs, but it doesn’t cover everything. Are you spending more on hospital visits than you can afford? Are you or a loved one going to need assisted living or nursing home care soon?

Those services can be extremely expensive, and additional insurance coverage can provide the safeguard you need. Consider discussing ancillary products for short-term care and hospital indemnity insurance with your licensed agents

What Is Short-term Care Coverage?

Short-Term Care in Hospital | Medicare Plan Finder
Short-Term Care in Hospital | Medicare Plan Finder

Short-term care insurance is designed to provide hospital coverage for one year or less. Short-term plans are recommended for people who may become severely ill or injured or for anyone over 80.

These policies are especially beneficial for anyone staying in a nursing home or using an assisted living program. It can also help if you missed open enrollment and have to wait another year to apply for Medicare.

Pre-existing conditions will usually not affect your short-term care insurance. Premiums will rise with your age, so it’s important to get coverage early. Short-term coverage works fast; you can start receiving benefits as soon as the day after purchase.

Make sure to speak with an agent about your health conditions and your current coverage to determine if you need the extra coverage that short-term care insurance provides.

What Is Hospital Indemnity Coverage?

The word indemnity means protection from financial liability such as hospital expenses. Ancillary hospital indemnity policies are the best, cheapest way to save your piggy bank in the event of a hospital stay.

The average cost for one night in the hospital is between $1500-$3000 before any additional drugs or procedures that may be a part of your stay. The average hospital stay for seniors is 5.5 days.

Hospital indemnity plans can help make up for hundreds of dollars that you may be charged in the hospital. Your plan will have a set limit on the length of time you can spend in the hospital.

Hospital indemnity coverage can cost you as little as $12 per month depending on your financial needs and your potential for lengthy hospital stays. If you have or are eligible for a $0-premium Medicare Advantage plan with a high deductible, hospital indemnity insurance will help you cover those deductibles.

Everyone is eligible for hospital indemnity coverage, and your pre-existing conditions will not affect your ability to extend your coverage. One important note about hospital indemnity insurance is that you may have to wait for benefits used towards illnesses, but you most likely will not have to wait for accidental injury coverage.

How Does Hospital Indemnity Coverage Work?

To receive your benefits, you will need to make a claim immediately following your hospital stay, stating your expenses. You will receive a check directly in the mail from your carrier for a predetermined cash value (per hospital day).

For example, if your hospital copay is $400, you will need to pay $400 directly to the hospital. Your insurance carrier will then reimburse up to a certain amount, say, $250 depending on the specifics of your plan.

Since your reimbursement comes in the form of a check, you can use your hospital indemnity coverage for any services that you may need. Hospital costs are not limited to what shows up on your overnight bill. Consider the following additional costs:

  • Laboratory and radiology tests
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Emergency room costs
  • Outpatient surgeries
  • Hospital parking for you and any visitors
  • Post-hospital skilled nursing facilities

You can purchase hospital indemnity coverage at any time, but the closer you are to your Initial Enrollment Period (within the seven months surrounding 65th birthday), the lower your costs will be.

Start by setting up an appointment with your agent to discuss your options for ancillary insurance products that your Medicare plan does not cover.

Hospital Indemnity Insurance for Medicare Advantage

Private insurance carriers offer Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to cover many services Original Medicare does not. MA plans can offer coverage for services such as vision, dental and hearing in addition to hospital coverage and doctor’s appointments.

Hospital services, however, can still come with expensive copayments. You can use an indemnity policy to help relieve your out-of-pocket expenses and stay within your budget. Hospital indemnity coverage gives you a safety net to use in the event of a medical emergency.

Indemnity Plans vs. PPOs and HMOs

A PPO (preferred provider organization) is a type of health insurance plan. It differs from a HMO (health maintenance organization) in that with PPOs, you don’t need to select a primary care provider or get a referral if you need to see a specialist.

Indemnity plans are different from PPOs because indemnity plans are not primary health insurance. For example, your PPO or HMO will often come with preventive services such as an annual wellness visit. Hospital indemnity insurance plans only reimburse all or part of your costs related to short-term care.

We Can Help You Find Hospital Indemnity Insurance Coverage

Hospital insurance can mean the difference between having huge hospital bills or paying a manageable premium and a deductible if you use hospital services.

A licensed agent with Medicare Plan Finder can help you find the policy you need to cover your healthcare needs. Call 833-438-3676 or contact us here to arrange a meeting today.

This post was originally published on April 06, 2017, by Anastasia Iliou and was updated on May 30, 2019, by Troy Frink.

Can you get Medicare Overseas Coverage?

Are you planning a summer trip to Europe? Finally going on an African safari now that you’re retired? We hope you have some great vacation time planned, but we really hope you stay safe while you’re out there enjoying yourself! For the most part, Original Medicare will only cover your care that occurs within the United States (including Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and The Northern Marina Islands), so it’s important to think about your healthcare options before you head abroad.

Original Medicare overseas coverage is extremely limited, but you will be covered if:

  • If you are in the U.S. during a medical emergency but a foreign hospital is closer
  • If you are in Canada on a direct route to Alaska (and far from an American hospital)
  • If you’re on a cruise ship and less than six hours from an American port
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan with foreign coverage
  • If you have a Medicare Supplement with foreign travel insurance

Do you have the coverage you need in case you get sick or injured while you’re out of the United States?

Medicare Advantage Foreign Travel Coverage

Private insurance carriers offer Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to add additional benefits to your Medicare coverage (and may include coverage abroad). Original Medicare only covers hospital and limited medical expenses, but MA plans can include dental, vision, meal delivery, fitness classes, and even foreign travel coverage.

There are thousands of MA plans to choose from, but not all of them include Medicare overseas coverage. MA plans are different in every state, county, and zip code. Reach out to us for more information on what’s available in your area.

Medicare Advantage | Medicare Plan Finder
Medicare Advantage | Medicare Plan Finder

Medicare Supplements Foreign Travel Insurance

Like MA plans, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans also offer coverage beyond Original Medicare. The difference is that MA plans cover medical expenses, but Medigap plans cover expenses such as deductibles and coinsurance. You cannot have a Medicare Supplement plan if you have a MA plan, so it’s smart to talk to a licensed agent to find out which type of plan is best for your budget and lifestyle.

Find Medicare Supplements | Medicare Plan Finder
Find Medicare Supplements | Medicare Plan Finder

Medigap plans D, E, G, H, I, J, M, and N may cover up to 80 percent of your overseas costs if you meet the plan’s foreign travel deductible (plans C and F include this benefit as well but will be removed from the market in 2020). The expenses will only be covered if they occur within the first two months of your stay overseas, provided Original Medicare doesn’t already cover them. These Medigap plans come with a $50,000 lifetime limit on overseas travel insurance benefits.

Medicare Supplement Plans Comparison Chart | Medicare Plan Finder
Medicare Supplement Plans Comparison Chart | Medicare Plan Finder

How to Prepare for Traveling Abroad

Unfortunately, our planet is covered in bacteria and viruses that can harm our bodies. Those bacteria and viruses don’t live everywhere, though, which means our immune systems haven’t been exposed to them. Therefore, our bodies don’t know how to fight foreign diseases. That’s why you need vaccinations for foreign diseases before you leave the country.

Visit your primary care physician and tell them where you’re going and how long you’ll be there. Medicare will cover your pre-vacation doctor visit where he or she will give you a list of vaccinations to consider.

Along with getting the proper vaccinations before you travel, your doctor may recommend you bring medications for common illnesses you may find at your destination, or for other things that may ail you during your trip. For example, let’s say you’re going on a tropical cruise. Your doctor may recommend you bring mosquito repellant, sunscreen, and motion sickness medicine.

If you have concerns about serious injuries or illnesses during your vacation, consider purchasing a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan that has coverage for foreign healthcare. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your treatment will be covered.

We Can Help

If you’re planning on traveling to an area where Original Medicare won’t cover your medical treatment, you might want to consider purchasing a plan with foreign travel insurance. If you have questions about Medicare overseas coverage, call an agent at 833-438-3676 or contact us here. We hope you stay safe and enjoy your travels!

Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder
Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder

This post was originally published on June 01, 2017, and was updated by Troy Frink on May 20, 2019.

Life and Final Expense Insurance

Though it may be unsettling to think about, your Medicare plan does not cover the high costs that come with death. It is important for you to figure out your life insurance plan now. That way, your loved ones won’t have to break their piggy banks to pay for your final expenses.

Your Insurance Options to Consider

Life insurance can be used either to help your loved ones after you die or to give you extra money to fall back on if you are diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness. The right life insurance policy will give you peace of mind by minimizing your family’s financial burden.

Life insurance comes in two forms:

  • Whole Life: valid for your entire life and potentially the days following your death
  • Term Life: valid for a set amount of time, typically up to 30 years

There are two types of whole life insurance policies. If you’re 60 or older, a universal life insurance policy (a lifelong policy that gathers cash value as it endures) may be your best option, because you can make changes to the money you leave behind based on your ever-changing needs. If you’re 70 or older, you might need your insurance policy to cover medical expenses, and you may want to leave a set amount for your loved ones. In that case, a guaranteed universal life (a universal life insurance policy that gathers a guaranteed amount over time) will be your best option.

You may want to consider a term life plan if you are suffering from a temporary illness or injury and will not need the same amount of coverage for the next year or decade. Speak to an agent to determine which form of life insurance is best for you and your needs.

Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder
Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder

Difference Between Final Expense and Life Insurance

Final expense policies are solely for covering costs associated with funerals, burials/cremations, and sometimes medical bills for your final hours. Having final expense insurance means that when you die, your appointed beneficiary (typically a spouse or close relative) will receive reimbursement for your expenses. You will usually have the ability to change your beneficiary after your policy has been active for a year.

While final expense insurance will help cover final medical and burial or cremation costs, life insurance will help to support the family members you leave behind who may have been counting on your paycheck. It can pay for any outstanding debt, such as a mortgage.

Essentially, life insurance provides more coverage and can be used for far more than final expenses. Remember the differences between the two types of policies:

Though final expense and life insurance are very similar, they do come in the form of two separate policies. Original Medicare does not cover either one. However, you can set up a Medicare Advantage Health Savings Account (HSA), which is like a bank account for medical expenses. You can make sure that unused funds go towards your final expenses for a loved one.

Click here to read more about final expense policies.

Costs of Life and Final Expense Insurance for Seniors

Final expense insurance can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on your age and health at the time of purchase. Life insurance will cost more or less depending on how high you want to set your policy value. The cost of life insurance depends on your age – basically, the younger you are, the cheaper your policy, so you’ll want to act as soon as possible. Policies can cost as little as $14 per month. Term life insurance can be the most affordable for seniors, but remember that the policy will not provide any benefit to your loved ones after you pass away.

Does Medicare Help Pay for Funeral Expenses?

No, Original Medicare doesn’t pay for funeral expenses or either burial or cremation costs when a beneficiary passes away. Medicare is only for medical expenses, so you’ll want additional insurance to make sure all of your final expenses are taken care of. While Medicare Parts A and B do not allow for your loved ones to receive money after you die, you can set up a high-deductible Medicare Advantage plan called a Medicare Medical Savings Account and dictate that your beneficiary gets any unused funds.

Social Security Benefits

When someone who collects Social Security benefits dies and leaves a spouse or child (usually a minor under 18) behind, the surviving beneficiary receives a one-time lump sum of $255. That money – called a death benefit – can be applied to funeral or burial/cremation expenses. Funerals usually cost much more than $255, so you won’t be able to rely on Social Security to take care of your family. A final expense policy can more than make up the difference and cover the cost of your funeral.

Final Expense Carriers We Work With

Medicare Plan Finder plan finder benefits advisors are here for you. We work with a variety of final expense insurance carriers so we can provide you with options and help find the best policy for your situation, including:

  • Aetna
  • AIG
  • American Amicable
  • Cigna
  • Foresters
  • Gerber
  • Great Western
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Prosperity Life
  • Renaissance Life
  • TransAmerica

Contact Us Today

You don’t want your loved ones to be faced with a tremendous financial burden on top of losing you. Talk to a Medicare Plan Finder benefits advisor about not only finding the right Medicare plan for you, but also the right life and final expense policies for you. Call us at 833-438-3676 or contact us here to arrange a no-obligation meeting today.

Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder
Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder

This blog was originally published on March 30, 2017, by Anastasia Iliou and was updated by Troy Frink on May 06, 2019.

Understanding Your Best Cancer Insurance, Heart Attack Insurance, and Stroke Insurance Options

Medicare is designed to provide coverage for the most basic healthcare that everybody needs. Therefore, it does not include extensive cancer, heart attack, or stroke coverage. That’s why many Medicare beneficiaries enroll in secondary health insurance plans to supplement their current coverage gaps.

Original Medicare Part A covers hospital costs, and Original Medicare Part B covers doctor visits. Medicare Advantage adds on prescription drug coverage as well as other benefits like fitness incentives, dental, vision, and hearing.

Medicare Supplement plans add on extra coverage for your deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance (and sometimes cover prescriptions as well). While those Medicare options are certainly useful for both your wallet and your health, they simply won’t cover all of your health care needs. That’s where ancillary plans, (also known as secondary health insurance plans) come in.

Do you Need Supplemental Insurance?

Finding Medicare Plans

Supplemental insurance plans provide coverage for medical procedures and needs that Medicare won’t. You might wonder, “why doesn’t Medicare just cover everything in one plan?” Well, Medicare is a government program, and everyone’s healthcare needs are different. It is not lucrative for Medicare to cover everything. That’s why people who need extra financial help can add on ancillary coverage to help cover their extra healthcare costs.

If you have a medical history that includes cancer, heart disease, or stroke symptoms, you may benefit from an ancillary plan that specifically covers your symptoms or can give you extra cash. That’s why you should always disclose all your healthcare and financial information to your agent – they can’t help you get the right amount of coverage if they don’t know how much coverage you need!

Most ancillary plans work by sending reimbursement checks (usually upon diagnosis). You’ll tell your plan when you are diagnosed with a disease, and they will send you a check based on your policy value (sometimes all at once, sometimes annually, etc.). Since your money will come in the form of a reimbursement, you can technically use it for whatever you need – loss of income, childcare, travel to facilities, home health care, rehabilitation/therapy, and any other out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not touch.

What Does Cancer Insurance Cover?

Cancer insurance plans can vary greatly. In general, you’ll find policies that cover services like: 

  • Blood and plasma
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Chemotherapy
  • Child/pet care expenses
  • Extended care facility stays
  • Hospice
  • Hospitalization
  • Initial diagnosis
  • Medical imaging
  • Organ transplants
  • Prosthetics
  • Radiation
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Surgery
  • Transportation and lodging related to hospital stays

What are the Best Cancer Insurance Plans?

No other disease statistics come close to cancer. Men have about a 50% chance of developing cancer, while women have about a 33.3% chance. Cancer kills about 1,600 Americans every day and includes about 10% of American healthcare expenses.

There really isn’t one best cancer insurance policy, because everyone’s financial and healthcare needs are different. However, one of the “best” and most common options is a lump sum policy. For a monthly payment of even as little as $20 per month, you can invest in a policy worth anywhere from a couple thousand to a hundred thousand dollars. If you are then diagnosed with cancer, you will receive the lump sum of your policy’s cash value to help you cover your cancer costs.

Lump sum cancer insurance is a good idea if you have a family history of cancer or if you meet any risk factors, such as a history of tobacco use, increased sun exposure, or obesity. If you already have a cancer diagnosis, you may not be able to enroll in this type of cancer insurance. A Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan might be a better option, as pre-existing conditions will not prevent you from enrolling. Plus, you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Supplement plan with great prescription drug benefits.

Cancer Insurance Pros and Cons

Cancer Insurance Pros:

  • Financial Relief – While you’re worrying about your health, you don’t want to have to worry about your finances. Not only is cancer treatment expensive, but you may have to leave your job to adequately receive the treatment you need! Not only can cancer policies help you pay for your care, but they can also help you recover from lost income.
  • Extra Medical Coverage – Original Medicare covers basic hospital and doctor costs, and you might have a prescription drug plan, but Medicare alone does not cover all cancer-related costs. A cancer plan will help you pay for extra prescriptions and procedures.
  • Peace-of-Mind – If you have a family history of cancer or if you’ve shown signs, having a cancer policy can give you the peace-of-mind to know that you’re covered in the event of a diagnosis.

Cancer Insurance Cons:

  • Availability – Cancer insurance can be harder to find than other health insurance options. However, our licensed agents are able to sell plans from most cancer insurers in your area. A MedicarePlanFinder agent can help you find what you need.
  • Pre-existing Conditions – If you’ve had any cancer symptoms in the past, it may be hard for you to find a cancer policy. It is really designed for those who have a family history of cancer and want to make a smart decision early on. That’s why you should buy now, BEFORE your diagnosis.

Types of Cancer Insurance

Senior Reading | Medicare Plan Finder

Lump Sum Cancer Insurance

A lump sum cancer insurance plan is meant to provide extra cash when you need it most: while you’re undergoing treatment. You will receive a payment for the value of your policy (usually between $5,000 and $100,000), at the time of your diagnosis.

Indemnity Cancer Plans

Indemnity plans are designed to help you pay for the costs of staying in a hospital for an extended period of time. Instead of paying out your benefits all at once in a lump sum, an indemnity cancer plan can pay you per day. For example, it might pay out $300 for each day you spend in the hospital.

Top Cancer Insurance Plans

While there are seemingly endless possibilities for getting cancer coverage, these are some of the top cancer insurance plans that Medicare Plan Finder agents currently offer (subject to change):

Aetna Cancer Insurance

Aetna offers a cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance policy for seniors and Medicare eligibles. You or a person that you designate will receive a lump sum based on your policy value upon your cancer diagnosis. The policy can be valued at anywhere from $5,000 to $75,000.

Aetna cancer policies give you a 30-day “look” period. That means that if you decide within 30 days of your purchase that you do not like the plan you chose, you can back out.

Cigna Cancer Insurance

Cigna’s cancer policies can cost you as little as $19 per month and can cover you for as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000. Cigna cancer coverage is available to anyone ages 18-99. For an added premium, you can also receive coverage for cancer recurrence, heart attacks, and strokes.

Mutual of Omaha Cancer Insurance

Mutual of Omaha offers both a cancer only insurance plan and a cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance plan. Since the policy pays out as a lump sum at the time of diagnosis, you can use it however you want, regardless of who your doctors are.

GTL Cancer Insurance

Guarantee Trust Life (GTL) cancer insurance is wrapped into one policy including cancer, heart attack, and stroke coverage. They pay a lump-sum upon diagnosis regardless of what other health insurance you may have. GTL benefits are flexible but range up to $75,000.

Medico Cancer Insurance

Medico will pay a lump sum benefit upon your internal cancer or malignant melanoma diagnosis. It is a one-time benefit paid directly to you – you can use it in any way you see fit!

Frequently Asked Questions About Cancer Insurance

Can I get cancer insurance after diagnosis?

It can be a challenge to get a good cancer insurance policy after you’ve already been diagnosed. That’s why we recommend that you look at your cancer insurance options NOW, to avoid any financial surprises later.

Is Cancer Insurance Worth it?

In short, yes! Wouldn’t you rather pay a small fee every month now instead of paying thousands upon thousands later? Investing in your health now allows you to plan for the finer things in life, like a beautiful retirement!

Can I buy cancer insurance online?

We don’t recommend buying without speaking to a licensed agent. Medicare Plan Finder agents are licensed with multiple insurance carriers, which means they can help you find quotes for several different plans and help you choose the best one for your needs.

How much does cancer insurance cost?

This really is going to depend on what you need. All carriers offer different types of plans that offer different amounts of coverage. If you do not have a personal history of cancer, you can get $5,000 of coverage for about $16/month! Of course, the more coverage you want, the higher your monthly costs will be.

Who sells the cheapest cancer insurance?

Cigna offers one of the cheapest plans at as little as $19 per month, and Mutual of Omaha boasts of rates as low as $10 per month! Your choice will depend on your healthcare needs, how much coverage you want, and your geographic area. Remember, not all plans are available in every state or county. It’s more important to look at the coverage that you’re getting first, THEN consider the cost. Our agents can help you find the best balance.

What other types of coverage are included in cancer insurance?

Cancer, stroke, and heart attacks are three of the most common ailments in America. Some cancer insurance policies are wrapped into one policy that includes stroke and heart attack coverage. This means that if you develop a heart condition now and develop cancer symptoms later, your one cancer, heart attack, and stroke policy will likely cover all or most of your conditions.

What Does Stroke Insurance Cover?

According to stroke.org, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds and is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke happens when blood flow is cut off from an area of the brain, resulting in brain cells losing oxygen and dying. The dying cells lead to memory and muscle control loss. Small strokes may only result in temporary weakness, while large strokes can permanently paralyze a person.

Shockingly, nearly 80% of strokes are preventable. You can help prevent strokes by keeping a healthy weight and blood pressure, exercising regularly, avoiding excess alcohol consumption, and not smoking.

When looking for stroke insurance, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans are great places to start. Having extra Medicare coverage will most likely give you access to more affordable healthcare through your doctors and pharmacies.

If that is not enough coverage, you can invest in a stroke policy. Most stroke policies are combined with heart attack policies. Stroke insurance is usually paid out as a lump sum (ranging from as low as $5,000 to as much as $100,000), which means it can cover anything from relevant surgeries to income replacement, instead of covering individual benefits.

Heart Attack Insurance

The CDC states that about 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. As common as heart disease is, it’s not cheap to handle. It can cost upwards of $20,000 for a hospital stay alone, not including the costs of any surgeries and prescriptions that follow.

While your Medicare plan may cover your hospital stay costs, it may not completely cover the surgeries and prescriptions you need. In fact, Original Medicare does not cover prescriptions at all. You will need to enroll in either a separate prescription drug plan (otherwise known as Part D) or either a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan that includes prescription drug coverage. That’s why a heart attack/stroke plan is a great option. After a heart attack, you can receive a lump sum based on your policy value to help you pay for care or replace lost income.  

Cancer, Heart Attack, and Stroke Insurance

Some cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance policies are looped into one policy. The same policy can cover heart transplants, physical therapy, patient and family member transportation and lodging, bypass surgeries, anesthesia, replacement of lost income, and help with home expenses.

Costs for cancer, heart attack, and stroke policies will vary based on your needs and how much coverage you want to pay for. If you prefer, you can pay as little as $20 per month (but will have less coverage than if you paid a higher monthly premium).

Help Us Help You

If your family medical history includes strokes or heart attacks, be sure to disclose that information to your Medicare agent. They can help you pick a plan that best encompasses your needs, and then help you decide whether or not you need to add an ancillary policy.

Do you have an agent? Our agents are able to sell countless different plans, so they can help you find the one that truly works best for you. Submit your contact information on Medicare Plan Finder so we can have one of our licensed agents reach out to you. If you’d prefer, give us a call today at 833-438-3676.

This post was originally published on March 23, 2017. It was updated on October 23, 2018, and again on July 18th, 2019.

How Much Should You Be Spending on Ancillary Insurance?

Ancillary Insurance Costs

How much should you be spending on ancillary insurance policies? The short answer is, it depends. It depends on a lot of factors.

Everything from your weight to your gender matters when determining your health insurance costs, and ancillary products like vision coverage and life insurance vary drastically.


Dental, Vision, and Hearing

If you have Medicaid or a Medicare Advantage plan, you may already have dental, vision, and/or hearing included in your coverage. If not, you may want a separate plan. Keep in mind that these plans are commonly bundled, so you may not need to pay three premiums.

Dental coverage costs will average at about $350 per year or $30 per month. That may seem like a high cost for one type of service, but consider that one crown can cost about $1,000, and a dental plan will cover anywhere from 80-100% of that. It’s worth the cost.

Without insurance, a vision appointment will cost an average of $200, and glasses and contacts can cost over $300 per year depending on prescription strength and brand. Monthly costs average at about $30 per month. Hearing coverage falls into the same range.

More on dental, vision, and hearing policies.

Cancer, Heart Attack, and Stroke

Cancer plans can start as low as $15/month, but can reach up to $40 or $50/month.  Heart attack and stroke coverage are usually bundled together for about $20/month. These three types of plans are among the most wallet-saving as care costs for these conditions can total in the upper thousands.

More on cancer, heart attack, and stroke policies. 

Short-Term Care and Hospital Indemnity 

Monthly premiums for short-term care policies generally fall in the $30-$40 range for basic coverage and can be over $100 to include homecare and other services. Since these policies are only active for a year or less, total costs may be smaller than those for a long-term policy.

Hospital Indemnity plan premiums vary based on how much coverage you need. They can be as little as $12 per month or as much as $300 per month.

More on short-term care and hospital indemnity. 

Life & Final Expense

Life insurance costs vary more drastically than any other form of coverage because consumers have so many options. You can request $500,000 worth of coverage or $1,000,000’s worth.

One of the first questions a carrier will ask is whether or not you are a smoker. Insurance rates for smokers are much more expensive than for nonsmokers because a smoker has much higher health risks. A 35-year old non-smoker may pay about $735 per month for a lot of coverage or closer to $200 per month for less coverage.

Final expense policies are based on personal choice. Funerals can cost upwards of $10,000, so you’ll end up paying anywhere from $10 per month to $20 per month depending on how much coverage you want for your final expenses.

More on life insurance and final expense insurance

How much are you spending on ancillary insurance? Visit our post about getting ancillary coverage for FAQ’s and information about what you may need. If you need more questions answered, set up an appointment to speak with one of our agents by calling 1-844-431-1832.

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