Seniors nearing the age of 65 will soon be eligible for Medicare benefits, and there are steps they need to take and vital information they need to remember. Here are five of the top things your aging loved one needs to know about Medicare.
1. Choosing the Right Plan Is Crucial
Choosing between original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan depends on your loved one’s unique circumstances, but there are a few things he or she should keep in mind:
- Original Medicare allows people to see any doctor who accepts Medicare, but a Medicare Advantage plan requires choosing a doctor enrolled with a specific plan
- There will normally be fewer out-of-pocket medical expenses with a Medicare Advantage plan
- Some Medicare Advantage plans also offer vision and hearing benefits
- Original Medicare offers a choice of prescription drug programs, but drug coverage isn’t included in all Medicare Advantage plans
Choosing the right Medicare plan isn’t the only age-related issue seniors may have to face. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she lives with an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.
2. There’s No Family Enrollment Offered
Medicare benefits only apply to individuals, which means there are no joint or family plans. Even if your loved one’s spouse is already covered under Medicare, your loved one will still need to enroll to receive his or her own benefits.
3. Supplemental Coverage Is Available
Regardless of whether your loved one chooses original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, he or she may still be faced with out-of-pocket medical expenses. A “Medigap” policy can pay medical costs not covered by Medicare, including:
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Clearwater families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
4. Procrastination Should Be Avoided
The ideal time for your loved one to start researching Medicare options is when he or she turns 64. The initial enrollment period begins three months before your loved one turns 65 and lasts for four months after turning 65. If your loved one misses the initial enrollment period, he or she can still enroll during the annual general enrollment period, which is from January to March. However, your parent may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
5. Keeping Meticulous Records Is Important
Your loved one should keep detailed records anytime he or she speaks with a government official regarding Medicare enrollment or benefits. This includes the date, time, and the name and contact information of the individual he or she spoke to as well as any other relevant information. If a government official provides erroneous information that results in missing the enrollment deadline, your loved one may be able to avoid paying the penalty if he or she can prove the official provided misinformation.
Regular medical attention is important for older adults, but doctors aren’t the only people who can help seniors remain healthy. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Clearwater, FL, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (727) 330-7862 today.