Medicare is a social safety net program that helps around 56 million Americans. Approximately 83% of these benefiting individuals are at least 65 years old. Some people would argue that it does not offer the tangible feeling benefits of Social Security. It is still equally important over a longer period of time.
This is why it is critical for seniors and retirees to comprehend how the Medicare program works so that they can enjoy the maximum benefit from it. In this article, we will look at several crucial things to consider to make sure that you are receiving all of the advantages from Medicare that you need.
Making the Most Out of Your Medicare
The primary parts of Medicare are also the original two parts, Part A for hospital insurance and Part B for outpatient services. These are one package fits all people, so you can not shop around for better, more competitive premiums with them. Part A is actually free (assuming you reached the 40 lifetime work credits in your life), while Part B has a monthly premium that is non-negotiable.
An area where you can save money through being smart has to do with Medicare’s prescription drug program called Part D. The Medicare service contracts out the coverage options to private insurance companies. These provide a range of differing options for senior coverage. These various plans and their pricing vary from one company to the next and even on a year to year basis. It is why your plan that was a great value in 2018 might not be so wonderful in 2019.
Since the prices change each year, you should not tick the auto-enroll box on your Part D coverage. Instead, each year look at the other plans, their offers, and the pricing. This will ensure that you keep the coverage for your medications that makes the most sense for you, all the while paying the lowest out of pocket premiums that you possibly can.
Try to Use Preventative Care for Great Extra Value
Another way to get the most out of your Medicare is to look for a plan that comes with a comprehensive level of benefits for preventive care. This maintains your health by addressing issues before they become problems. In most cases, this preventive care comes at either no or little cost. Statistics argue that this will save lives too. CDC estimates a good 200,000 yearly deaths from strokes and heart disease are preventable if the individuals only have the optimal preventive care.
Another great use of the plan is for fitness. Many of the Medicare plans will include a complimentary gym membership. Others financially reward you when you stay physically active. You should consider plans that include these additional benefits, particularly if the tangible incentive will help you to maintain your health and reach your goals.
Medicare Advantage Plans Are Worth Considering
Private insurance companies offer something called Medicare Advantage plans. They include all Parts A, B, and D services compiled into a single plan. These often include dental, hearing, and vision services and visits that are not present in the original Medicare plan. Enrolling in this saves you the hassle of having to sign up individually for each part of the Medicare benefits packages.
Yet the greatest benefit of such a Medicare Advantage plan lies in their limits to yearly out of pocket costs for seniors, amounting to $6,700 back in 2016 (this does not include prescription drugs though). The original Medicare does not feature any limits to yearly out of pocket costs. This is why selecting such an MA plan can help you to draw a line under the medical care costs each year and budget better for them annually.
Medicare Will Allow You to Buy Cheap Generics Locally
It is important to realize that prescription medication costs will get expensive quickly if they are not part of your insurance plan. The bills can be simply staggering. A good way to avoid these unanticipated costs is to be certain that your specific medications are covered by your particular plan. Also, investigate any quantity limits to be certain that you can get the quantity that you need. Many people initially think of branded drugs when you can save a huge amount of money using available generics sourced locally. These medicines work the same but cost significantly less money. Be sure to ask your prescribing doctor if there is a generic option available.
A Prescription Referral Service Like PlanetDrugsDirect.com Will Save You Enormously on Medications
For times when generic medications aren’t available locally, it is best to turn to a prescription referral service. These services can save you up to 80 percent on brand name and generic medications. You go to their website or give them a call to order your medications. They will provide you with an advantageous price and complete your order. After you scan and send in your prescription, within two to four weeks your medication(s) will arrive for literally a fraction of what you would have paid through a local pharmacy.
Pharmaceutical companies have a business model that allows you to benefit from a prescription drug referral service. Pharmaceutical companies charge higher prices to patients in the United States than they do to Canadians, Europeans and other parts of the world. This is supposed to be based on affordability issues. It also allows the drug makers to pay for the enormous costs of research/development so they can offer cutting edge new drugs to the world.