Seniors mistakenly assume that Medicare is free and will then pay for all medical expenses that a person might encounter.
Allowing these beliefs to linger could be a costly mistake.
The reality is that there are so many gaps in what Medicare pays for that it really only covers about 50% of medical cost for those over 65. This is why understanding Medicare and the very real need for a supplemental or Medigap insurance policy is so very important. Seniors face some rather significant out-of-pocket expenses if they fail to properly cover themselves with one of these policies.
Just as a simple example, something like eyewear/glasses and an eye exam are not generally covered by Medicare though cataract surgery would be.
You can see how the expenses could quickly add up, with these types of medical costs, if you do not plan for the financial demands non-Medicare-covered-care will create.
In a population that has an increased need for eye care, dental care and foot care, having these expenses become out-of-pocket expenses can wreak havoc on your financial situation.
These are just a few of the out-of-pocket expenses a Medicare recipient could encounter. There are others that have an even bigger impact on your future financial picture (which will be discussed in future articles).
The important thing to be gained from this piece is that you need to look at your Medicare coverage as just ONE part of your healthcare management plan.
Sit down with somebody who can help you to review your policy, consider your medical and financial needs and make recommendations about what types of supplemental insurance you need to consider to cover your medical expenses. Don’t grab the first policy you are offered! Make sure that you have found one that suits your individual medical needs. This should also include a review of your prescription plan as well. Your prescription plan may be something that you need to revisit frequently, if not yearly, to make sure that you are still enrolled in the plan that best suits your specific care needs.
Medicare and Supplemental Insurance Policies are not free but together will provide you with the best overall medical care coverage. If you choose not to purchase a supplemental insurance policy, you will need to plan for the financial gaps in your Medicare plan and save accordingly.
Look for future articles where we will address other gaps and misunderstanding about Medicare coverage. Being an informed consumer is the best way to protect yourself and your family.
On the journey with you…….Kathy
Kathy Eynon is an Eldercare Coach and Consultant that works with those struggling to cope with the demands of caring for an aging parent. She can be reached by email at: Kathy@ParentCareAlliance.com.