Medicare is a federal health insurance program available to people 65 and older. It is a complex program and it can be difficult to navigate. This may cause patients and their caregivers feel overwhelmed.
If you are helping a loved one on Medicare, follow these tips:
- Know which Medicare plan your loved one is enrolled in.
The two main ways to obtain Medicare coverage are:
- Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), or
- Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).
Some people also select additional coverage, like Medicare prescription drug coverage or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).
- Know what Medicare will and will not cover.
Familiarize yourself with what the Medicare plan will and will not cover. For example, Original Medicare offers provider freedom, and your loved one can see a specialist without a referral. On the other hand, the Medicare Advantage plan requires that your loved one see network providers for maximum coverage benefit.
Enrolling in a Medicare plan does not automatically mean you have prescription drug coverage. To have drug coverage, you must either be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, or if enrolled in an Original Medicare plan, then you must also enroll in Part D prescription drug coverage.
Further, Medicare does not cover Long-Term Care. This means that often nursing home care is not covered by Medicare. For guidance on Long-Term Care Planning, visit our site here.
- Locate your loved one’s Medicare cards.
Locate your loved ones Medicare cards. Hold onto them or know where they are kept in case you need them. Depending on the type of coverage, your loved one may have up to three Medicare cards: the Medicare plan card, and possibly a prescription drug coverage card and/or a supplemental coverage card.
We hope these tips will empower you to better help your loved one who is receiving Medicare benefits.
Understanding Your Healthcare Options
The compassionate attorneys at Elder Law Group PLLC understand how important it is to you and your family to properly and affordably provide for your healthcare and living needs. We can help you decide what Medicare or Medicaid benefits are right for you and your family. We know what is necessary to qualify for these benefits and how they will work in conjunction with your existing financial situation.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate, and competent guidance on Long-Term Care planning, Asset Protection Estate Planning TM, or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families.