Do you ever feel like you need to be a rocket scientist to understand Medicare? Well, you are not alone. For most seniors, making sense of it all is a constant battle. Seniors need Medicare, and all its parts, to ensure their healthcare needs are met. Thankfully, your experience with Medicare does not have to be complicated. Here are a few ways you can make your healthcare coverage much easier to understand.
Make Use of Medicare Tools and Resources
If you want to know which Medicare coverage is best for you, you need to do a little homework. So long as you have a basic understanding of the internet, you can easily gain access to online Medicare and Medicare Advantage resources that will break down the benefits offered by each plan part. These resources are developed with internet novices in mind, so you definitely won’t need a PhD to figure them out. But don’t be afraid to ask a family member or friend to help you out if you are not savvy when it comes to the web. If you have a smartphone and feel comfortable using it, you can even download a Medicare app to easily figure out what is covered by your current plan, and what is not. This app only details Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, but it is still very useful for seniors. When looking for Medicare help, just be aware that Medicare scam attempts are common. Never give out any sensitive information over the phone and hang up on any suspicious calls.
Understand Medicare Part A, B, C, and D, and Supplements
There are so many parts and details to Medicare for you to understand. So it’s no wonder it can get confusing, for seniors and really anyone. Web articles can be extremely helpful in laying out the differences between the ABC and D’s of Medicare, as well as available supplements. To make matters simpler, think of Medicare Part A as your most basic coverage for hospitals. Part B is what you will use for doctor’s visits and other preventive care, which can include anything from a flu shot to X-rays, but limitations do apply. The rest is where coverage details get really murky. You need to add Part D in order to have prescription drugs covered, but you can also opt to combine this with a Medicare Advantage plan. You do need to pay a premium for prescription drug coverage, but your costs will depend on your plan provider and options.
Write Down Your Important Medicare Enrollment Dates
Even with simplified explanations and tools, you may be feeling overwhelmed. The best way to reduce that stress is to review articles like this well ahead of your enrollment period. Not sure when that is? Well, if you are new to Medicare and are getting ready to turn 65, you will sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). You can sign up for coverage within the three months leading up to your birthday or the three months after. Either way, your plan will kick in when you turn 65. Missed the IEP? That’s okay! You can still sign up for health care coverage later on in the year during Open Enrollment (OEP), which typically starts in October and ends in the beginning of December. Just be aware that 2019 brings important changes for Medicare’s OEP timeframe. You may see lower premiums or added benefits by switching your plan, so be sure to do your homework well ahead of time.
You need experts to manage your health, but you shouldn’t have to be an expert to manage your Medicare coverage. If you’ve made it this far, you have plenty more tools at your disposal for decoding your Medicare mysteries and questions. You can use these helpful resources on your own, or ask a family member to sit down with you and help you figure them out. However you make sense of all that Medicare has to offer, be sure to do it in time to make changes that will matter the most for your healthcare coverage.
Learn more about author Sharon Wagner’s organization seniorfriendly.info