Millions of seniors in the United States depend on Medicare for health insurance coverage. If you are among the group of people looking toward an age 65 retirement, you understand that your health care options are about to change, which includes becoming eligible for Medicare.
What Healthcare Coverage Does Medicare Offer Seniors?
Medicare is planned primarily to provide coverage for seniors when they become ill or injured. These services include doctor’s services, hospitalization, hospice, X-rays, lab work, and most outpatient care, as well as mental health care and some inpatient nursing facilities. However, Medicare has over the years evolved to also cover a range of screening and preventive services.
Some of these services include smoking cessation counseling, cardiovascular screening, screening for breast cancer screening (cervical, colon, prostate, and vaginal), immunizations for flu, glaucoma tests, diabetes screening and supplies, and more. For seniors that meet the requirement for home health care, Medicare also covers part-time health aides, part-time nursing care, physical/speech/occupational therapy, and medical equipment and supplies.
Which Healthcare Providers Can Seniors See?
Seniors that qualify for Medicare can go to any hospital, doctor, outpatient provider, clinic, pharmacy, nursing facility, or home care agency approved by Medicare. Before visiting any healthcare professional or facility, it is essential to verify that they accept Medicare.
How Much Will Seniors Pay for Their Medicare?
Out-of-pocket costs will depend on how seniors get their Medicare benefits. The coverage for Medicare Part A is free for qualifying seniors and pays for skilled nursing care, hospital care, hospice care, and more. In addition, seniors will also enroll and pay a premium for the Medicare Part B plan to provide medical expenses not covered by Medicare Part A, such as durable medical equipment, outpatient hospital care, and wellness visits like vaccines and screenings.
Seniors who are enrolled in Original Medicare are eligible to switch to a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan, a health care plan offered by private insurance companies to provide the same benefits as Original Medicare, including some additional benefits, while also using in-network providers to lower out-of-pocket costs. Medicare also allows seniors to purchase Medicare Part D prescription drug plans to make their medication requirements more affordable.
Seniors may qualify for other healthcare programs to help them pay for their healthcare expenses such as Extra Help: Extra Help is a Medicare program for seniors with limited income and resources. The health program helps pay for costs associated with medications such as premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of Medicare, contact Carolina Insurance Partners today.