Maybe you've heard the phrase spoken, I'm not looking forward to getting old or the words from a hit song back in the 1960's by an English group called The Who, I hope I die before I get old. Scary stuff. But what if there was a medical carrot at the end of the stick to help older folks, men and women, to provide health care for your remaining years; some you pay for, some you don't? That carrot or pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow when you reach a certain age, think 65, is called Medicare. Kind of like a medical parachute that opens up opportunities for healthcare as you float gently into an age older than 65.
To meet eligibility requirements most seniors 65 or older qualify. Some
younger men and women with disabilities or End-State Renal Disease,
permanent kidney failure, may also qualify. Basically, being a
government program, Medicare will cover most of the costs for individual
health care, but not all. Some benefits you might need like paying for
caregivers at your home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and
those folks with chronic disabilities and lengthy illnesses are not
included in Medicare benefits and neither is extensive prescription drug
plans that exceed what Medicare can or will cover, ergo, the need for
gap or supplemental insurance coverage which you pay for.
As you dig deeper into what generic Medicare benefits cover, better yet,
what they don't cover, you may find all the verbiage and paperwork a
bit overpowering. Parts to Medicare benefits are, A, B and D. Part A
will help cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facilities,
hospice care and some home health care. These basics are pretty much
covered and for most qualified seniors is free. However, when you move
into Part B, the money stick moves into your pocket to remove some cash
to help pay for outpatient hospital care, doctor fees and other items
that Part A doesn't cover, much like any physical or occupational
therapy that may be needed.
Part D of Medicare benefits will provide prescription drug benefits.
However, this is when it is incumbent upon you to read and understand
the paperwork regarding drug benefits since most people have to pay
extra premiums to be covered for prescription drugs under Part D. Simply
put, most beneficiaries are covered under the original Medicare Plan
which requires you to pay for some health care in addition to their
monthly B and D premiums. This is where coinsurance, deductibles and gap
insurance payments float to the top of the cash barrel. On many gap
insurance policies costs will vary, so be diligent and only choose what
plan you can afford.