Many people's first experience with Medicare is assisting their parents in understanding their coverage.
Medicare's annual open enrollment period is months away. Now is the time to educate yourself on the options and decisions that your parents must make. For coverage beginning in 2021, open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7.
Government insurance can be perplexing at first, but there are some things you can do to help ensure your parents have the best coverage for their needs.
There are numerous information sources available. However, going directly to the source on their official website can help you understand the choices your parents must make during open enrollment. This is the time for your parents to compare, shop, and enroll in a plan for the following year.
"Choosing generic traditional Medicare is not always the best option"
Enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan or discontinue your drug coverage entirely.
Change from one medication plan to another
Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan or vice versa.
Change Advantage plans
Change from an Advantage plan that does not provide drug coverage to one that does, or vice versa.
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or go to Medicare.gov to learn more about Medicare plans and compare them.
Also Read: Tips on How To Choose A Primary Care Doctor *
Most people your parents' age have a long-term doctor they entrust their health to.
If your parents have a long-term relationship with a physician, it is critical that they ensure that their physician participates in the plan they select. If not, they should find a plan in which their physician participates. Or, at the very least, they should ensure that there is a physician in the network with whom they are comfortable consulting.
You should ask your parents about the type of coverage they require based on their current health situation.
What health issues do they have that necessitate disease management?
Do they want benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, and health care?
Will they require prescription drug coverage?
How much can they afford?
Also Read: Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants?
Look for any coverage gaps for your parents' ongoing chronic disease management or any expensive medications they are taking.
Medicare is covered only by home health care services prescribed by a physician and delivered by qualified nurses, although patients must meet strict eligibility criteria.
What is the easiest way to apply for Medicare? Well, you are in the right place! Most people were automatically enrolled and became eligible for Social Security when they turn to 65. We didn't need to apply for Medicare until President Reagan signed the legislation which raises the retirement age in 1983 and begins in 2003.
While eye care is a common need as we age, Medicare coverage is extremely restricted for most vision services. It is normally based on whether you encounter any medical problems that can impair your eyesight.
Many people believe that Medicare is free because, for much of their working life, you have paid into Medicare by taxes, but that assumption is not right.