Aside from Medicare, there are a few other public health programs worth looking at. They include Medicaid, Medigap, and Supplemental Social Security Insurance (SSI).

Medicaid is a joint federal state need based health insurance program. It is meant for people with limited income and resources. Eligibility requirements and covered health services vary from a state to state. Additionally, you need to be eligible for social security benefits. This program covers all or a portion of a broad range of medical services including inpatient and outpatient hospital care, prescription drugs, nursing home care, and skilled care. ...Show details

The premium for Medicaid is calculated by different insurance companies in different ways. Under the issue age method the premium varies with the insured's age at which the insurance was purchased and remains the same as the insured person gets older. Under the attained age method, the premium is based on the insured's current age and increases with time. Under no-age rating, everyone pays the same premium irrespective of the age.

Medigap is a private insurance offered by many insurance companies to pay for the healthcare expenses for Medicare related deductibles and coinsurance or during Medicare blackout periods. Roughly 95% of retirees supplement Medicare with other forms of health insurance. The largest portion buy Medigap. The standard Medigap policies are assigned letter designations ranging from A through N, with Plan A being the most limited to Plan N being most comprehensive. Plan A for example, constitutes the following core coverages. ...Show details

  1. Reimbursement for insured's share of hospital charges or coinsurance under part A during the 61st through 90th day period and the 91st through 150th day.
  2. Provides coverage for all the charges incurred during an additional 365 days in the hospital.
  3. Reimbursement for both Hospital Insurance (part A) blood deductible and Medical Insurance(part B) blood deductible.
  4. Reimbursement for the insured's 20% share of expenses covered under part B.

Every Medigap policy must follow Federal and state laws designed to protect you, and the policy must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Each standardized Medigap policy (A through N) must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with the same letter sold by different insurance companies. Starting June 2010, policies E, H, I, and J are no longer sold. Plan C is one of the most popular Medigap plans. It covers the deductible charges for hospitals and doctors and the 20 percent coinsurance payments that can make traditional Medicare expensive for people when they need care.

As the name indicates, SSI supplements social security to provide monthly benefits for low income people and those with limited assets. People who qualify for SSI also qualify for other programs e.g. Medicaid, Food stamps etc. This program is funded by general tax revenue and does not burden the social security taxes. It provides for $564 per month benefit to one person or $846 per month to married couples

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