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.
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.