Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Medicare Plans Demystified

With open enrollment for Medicare starting in just a few days (enrollment spans October 15 through December 7), it is important that your senior understands which plan is best suited to their needs. Eldercare professionals know that there are many details to consider when choosing the right care for seniors, and Medicare plays a major role in the financial aspect of this issue. But senior health professionals believe that with the right information you and your senior can make choosing the best Medicare plan easy. Below are some of the highlights of Medicare Part C and D, two of the most popular plans.

Medicare Part C
Formerly called Medicare + Choice and often referred to as Medicare Advantage, this plan is a supplement to Parts A and B. As such, seniors must have Parts A and B in order to qualify for enrollment in Part C. Part A covers services that are paid for by Social Security, including inpatient care at the hospital, hospice care, and skilled nursing. Part B, which is funded by monthly premiums and supplemented by the U.S. Treasury, pertains to fees regarding appointments with doctors, outpatient hospital procedures, and other medical attention that Part A does not cover.

Part C allows for the ability to choose the provider organization through which all of these services are offered. Ultimately, having Medicare Part C can result in lower medical costs and additional benefits, so it is worth looking into depending upon your senior’s individual needs.

Medicare Part D
Prescriptions are, for many seniors, a major financial burden. Medicare Part D helps to alleviate this burden by covering prescription medications. Completely optional in nature, this aspect of the Medicare program is covered by monthly premiums and requires seniors to opt in through an application and enrollment process.

Choosing the Right Plan
The plan that will best cover your senior depends upon their unique needs, as elderly individuals require differing levels of medical care and support. Talk with your senior and their doctor to ensure that they are signing up for the right plan, as this can help save them a great deal of money and financial stress.

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