Tips on Talking to Your Parents About Medicare Coverage

Tips on Talking to Your Parents About Medicare Coverage

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.


Also Read Medicare Enrollment Periods you Need to Know


Understanding Medicare Open Enrollment

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"



What can be done during the open enrollment period?

You can do the following during open enrollment for Advantage plans (Part C) and prescription drug coverage (Part D):


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 to learn more about Medicare plans and compare them.


Also Read: Tips on How To Choose A Primary Care Doctor *


They should stick with their trusted providers

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.


What do your parents require?

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.


Contact a Medicare expert

Call Medicare



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