Medicare is an insurance program that covers health care costs for people who are 65 years old or older. It also covers certain expenses for those under 65 who have disabilities.
If you are eligible for Medicare, you should enroll in the program. However, there are ways to maximize your coverage and benefits.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of Medicare.
1. Get a Primary Care Physician
You can choose from among several types of doctors when it comes time to see one. You may want to go with someone who specializes in internal medicine because they will be able to treat many different conditions. They will know how to manage chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. If you need more specialized treatment, such as surgery, then you might consider going with a specialist.
2. Choose Your Plan Wisely
There are three main parts to choosing a plan: Part A, Part B, and Part D. The first two cover about 80 percent of all medical bills while Part D only pays for 20 percent. There are four basic plans available through Medicare: Original Medicare, Advantage Plans, Medigap Insurance, and Extra Help. Each has its own pros and cons so make sure you understand what each option offers before making a decision.
3. Make Sure You Are Eligible For All Parts Of Medicare
The government sets eligibility requirements for Medicare based on income level and other factors. To qualify for Medicare, you must meet these criteria:
• Be at least age 65
• Have had Social Security Disability Income since January 1, 2014
• Not been enrolled in Medicaid during any part of 2013
4. Know What Services Are Covered Under Medicare
Medicare does not pay for everything. Some services are covered by private insurers but others aren’t. Here are some examples of things that Medicare doesn’t cover:
• Cosmetic procedures
• Hearing aids
• Home healthcare visits
5. Consider Using Health Savings Accounts With Medicare
Health savings accounts allow individuals to set aside money tax-free to use later for their retirement needs. These funds can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses including prescription drugs. In addition, if you contribute $1,000 per year into a HSA account, you can deduct up to $3,250 from taxable income. This means that even though you won’t receive a check directly from the IRS, you could still save thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime.
6. Don’t Forget About Long Term Care
Long-term care includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health aides. While Medicare generally doesn’t cover long-term care, there are options available to supplement this coverage. One way to do this would be to purchase supplemental policies which provide additional protection against catastrophic events. Another alternative is to take advantage of Medicare’s annual enrollment period where seniors can sign up for new programs without paying premiums until after the end of the calendar year.
7. Keep Up On Updates And Changes
It’s important to stay informed about changes made to Medicare. Many times, updates and changes occur throughout the year. When something major happens, such as a change in law, you’ll likely hear about it right away. But don’t wait too late to find out about them. By doing so, you risk losing access to coverage altogether.
You’ve been told that Medicare doesn’t cover certain medications, or that you need to pay a lot for prescriptions. Learn what Medicare covers and what you may not know about your prescription drug coverage. Find out if you qualify for free preventive services, and learn about the different types of Medicare supplements available. Healthbridge Insurance Solutions helps seniors understand their Medicare coverage options and find the best plan for their needs. Call us today!