Medicare Tips for Seniors

Medicare Tips for Seniors

Medicare is a national healthcare program offered by the federal government. It provides health insurance for people who are 65 years and older, younger people with disabilities, and for people with the end-stage renal disease (ESRD). As an employee, it can be a difficult transition to move from employer health insurance to Medicare.

If you are planning to enroll for Medicare health insurance, here are a few tips that will help you get the maximum benefits from the same.

Study each type of Medicare plan
Medicare Plan A covers for medical facilities, Plan B covers the cost incurred by medical providers. Plan C is an advantage plan that covers for expenses that might not be covered by Medicare plan A and B. Medicare Plan D is prescription drug plan for supplementing coverage gaps.

It is important for you to familiarize with the terminology used in Medicare so that you have a clear idea about what you are signing up for and which plan suits you best.

There are no family plans in Medicare
A single Medicare plan provides coverage for both; you and your spouse. It is based on the condition that each spouse needs to have a separate Medicare plan. This is because both of you might be having separate health conditions. Hence, opt for separate Medicare plans that provide health coverage and prescription drug plans based on your medical condition.

Medicare Advantage plans cover for out-of-pocket expenses. Original Medicare plans pay for 80 percent of covered expenses, with no cap for out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore, enroll in Medicare Advantage plans to cover for expenses that you might have to pay from your pocket, and which might not be covered in the 80 percent of the coverage provided by original Medicare.

Medicare online tools
There are several online Medicare plan finders that help you review your current Medicare plan and find the best Medicare Advantage plans based on your location and needs. You can also find tutorials that explain how to use these tools. As a senior, if you find it daunting, then you can look for State Health Insurance assistance program as they offer free counseling on choosing the best health plan under Medicare.

Compare commercial and Medicare plans
Be strategic in scheduling some procedures and compare out-of-pocket costs that are covered under your employer healthcare plan with your Medicare plan. Choose a Medicare health plan over a commercial plan if you find that Medicare hospitalization coverage fares better than a commercial or employer plan and vice versa.

Start early
You can start applying for Medicare health plan three months prior to turning 65 years old. This is the best time to get in touch with the Social Security and sign up for benefits based on your preference. This will help you save some money and avoid confusion while selecting the right Medicare plan.

The various plans offered by the government might be difficult to understand. However, the government’s official website is the best place to start looking for information on the same. While you are at it, seek guidance from insurance agents as they can help you find the best health plan provided under Medicare.