Medicare Without A Parachute: Worth the Risk?


In July of 2016, Luke Aikins became the first skydiver to jump from a plane without a parachute and live to tell the tale.

Sound crazy?

Enrolling in Medicare with no supplemental insurance could be even riskier, at least financially.

In addition to deductibles, copays, coinsurance, there’s no out-of-pocket maximum. Which means your retirement savings could plummet.

“All it takes is one big hospital stay and you could be out tens of thousands of dollars,” says Ken Waltzer of KCS Wealth Advisory. “Even if you don’t face a big event like that, the smaller ongoing expenses can really add up.”

According to a recent study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, about six million people (nearly 20%) are enrolled in basic Medicare with no additional coverage. Part A comes with a $1,364 deductible per benefit period. And while the annual deductible for Part B is only $185, you’re typically charged 20% of the remainder for most services.

“If you have a heart attack, need multiple surgeries and hospital visits, you could literally end up bankrupt,” says Elizabeth Gavino of Lewin & Gavino. Bypass surgery can exceed $100,000 and valve replacement, $170,000. If those costs were covered through Part B, your out-of-pocket would be $20,000 for the bypass and $34,000 for the valve.

The answer? Medicare Supplement Insurance, otherwise known as MedSup or MediGap. Ask an expert from AMBA about MedSup policies endorsed by your association. AMBA agents are specially trained to help you choose the plan that best suits your needs and budget.

After all, even Luke Aikins had a safety net.



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