Facts Seniors Should Know About the Medicare Program

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Important Facts You Need to Know About Medicare

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on January 25, 2016

Family caregivers in Scottsdale and the senior loved ones they care for may find it difficult to figure out how the Medicare insurance program works. To help your loved one make the right decisions for his or her health, here are a few facts about Medicare.

Timing Is Crucial

It’s important your loved one signs up for Medicare at the right time, which falls within the three months leading up to the day he or she turns 65. If your loved one is late signing up for Medicare, he or she could face more expensive ongoing premiums. This is especially true for Part B premiums that sometimes cover things like medical and Scottsdale senior home care services, but not hospital services. The cost can rise approximately 10 percent for each year your loved one was eligible for Medicare and didn’t apply.

It Consists of Four Different Parts

The different parts of Medicare coverage your loved one selects can affect his or her benefits, out-of-pocket expenses, and much more. Part A helps cover hospital bills, Part B pays for outpatient services and doctor visits, Part C offers private insurance choices for temporary in-home care, Medicare HMOs, and various other services, and Part D can help pay for prescription drugs. Part A most likely won’t have a premium, but Part B often comes with an additional monthly fee and usually has a deductible.

It Only Covers Certain Costs

Seniors enrolled in Medicare should know they are allowed one free wellness exam yearly and will most likely qualify for a few free preventive services like mammograms and flu shots. However, if a medical issue is discovered in your loved one’s wellness exam, the resulting costs may not be covered. Also, your loved one should be aware Medicare usually doesn’t cover the costs of hearing aids, dental care, or eyeglasses.

There Is Help to Pay Medicare Costs

Your loved one can purchase supplemental insurance called Medigap, which can be bought separately to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses that occur from his or her basic Medicare. If your loved one is in a lower income bracket, he or she may qualify for low-cost prescription drug coverage, state assistance in paying for Medicare Part B premiums, and various other medical expenses.

Though Medicare does not cover all in-home care services, securing the right care for your loved one is still important for promoting his or her overall wellbeing. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers are available 24/7 to help with a wide variety of daily tasks, including exercise, meal prep, and bathing. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, post-stroke, and Parkinson’s care Scottsdale families trust. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 480.448.6215 to schedule a free in-home consultation.