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Three Ways to Make the Most out of Medicare in 2020

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Medicare is the health insurance program for US citizens. You are eligible for coverage if you are over the age of 65 or if you have qualifying disabilities and are under the age of 65. Once you reach the age of 65, you are required by law to have health coverage through a plan. This coverage could be through Medicare or a different insurance plan.

Millions of seniors nationwide use Medicare, but are they getting the most out of the program possible? Here at IsraelPharm, we’ve got some tips for you.

 

1. Avoid the 10% late fee

You have an enrollment window which spans seven months. If you don’t enroll on time, you’ll be hit with a 10% surcharge on your Part B premiums. The three months before your 65th birthday until three months after your 65th birthday is your seven-month enrollment window. There are additional penalties for not signing up for a Part D drug plan too, so it’s important not to delay signing up.

2. Use the free care

As a Medicare enrolee, you are eligible for various services that don’t cost anything extra. You can go for annual well check-ups, alcohol counselling, depression screenings, mammograms, diabetes testing and get help quitting smoking.

Don’t miss out on these services. They can drastically improve your health and quality of life and prevent further health issues down the line – ultimately saving you more money.

3. Online medical services

It’s not always easy to get to the doctor’s office, especially if you’re feeling sick or if mobility is a challenge. Luckily, Medicare provides online access to healthcare professionals. These online visits often cost less than actually visiting a doctor in his or her office. And of course, you get to avoid the stress of dragging yourself out the house and sitting in waiting rooms.

2020 Medicare costs

The government adjusts certain costs each year. This can affect deductibles and premiums with Medicare. 2020 brings with it higher costs and so it is important to budget and account for your monthly healthcare expenses. Each change isn’t huge, but added together it can certainly make a difference, especially for those on a fixed income.

Your coverage choice will affect how much you pay in premiums, deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays. Your income is another important factor which determines how much you pay. Those with limited income may qualify for Medicaid or a similar program. Those with higher incomes will pay more for certain parts of the coverage.

Remember, the government uses your tax return from two years ago to calculate your premiums. If you have a life-changing event that affects your income such as retirement, then you may request a reduction.

For a full list of Medicare costs in 2020, please check out this website. This site is also a good resource for understanding premiums in 2020.

Click here to read our article on What you Need to Know Before Starting Medicare

Medicare might not be the perfect program for everyone, but it really pays to understand your coverage and the benefits that are available to you.

So, how do you apply?

Visit your local Social Security office, apply online at www.ssa.gov or call or mail Social Security. For more info, please see the various resources on the Medicare website.

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