How to Make the Right Medicare Choices

Home Care Services Orlando FL - How to Make the Right Medicare ChoicesGood health is what you need if you’re going to enjoy your retirement and your newfound freedom from the daily grind. Although you eat healthfully and exercise every day, injuries and illness may rear their ugly heads nonetheless, and that’s when you need insurance.

Fortunately, there’s Medicare, which offers coverage for all Americans over the age of 65, offering peace of mind throughout their golden years. Unfortunately, it’s extremely confusing, made up of various parts — A, B, C, D, and beyond! — each with their own caveats and stipulations. You may be dreading the day when you have to wade through it all.

However, don’t fret. If you take it slowly, step by step, you can gain a full understanding of this government health insurance program and what is has to offer, then make the right decisions regarding your own coverage. Here’s a breakdown.

Understand the Basics

Start with the first two letters of the alphabet. Part A covers your treatment in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities, while Part B is devoted to outpatient care, preventive services, ambulance transportation, and durable medical equipment. Together, they are often referred to as Original Medicare, and you become eligible for both at the same time, though you may not be enrolled automatically if you’re still employed at the age of 65.

Explore Advantage Plans

Moving on to the next letter, Part C refers to Advantage Plans, which are offered through private insurance companies. They offer the same coverage as Original Medicare, but often with additional perks such as dental, vision, and hearing care. In order to sign up, you must already be enrolled in Parts A and B.

Learn About Part D

Many Medicare Advantage Plans include coverage for prescription medication. This is sometimes referred to as Part D, and is also available as a standalone that you enroll in through a private insurer after signing up for Original Medicare. It saves seniors a bundle in the face of the ever-rising cost of medication.

Consider Medigap

As though Parts A, B, C, and D weren’t enough to take in, there’s more. You could also choose a Medigap Plan, which is similar to Medical Advantage in offering additional coverage to Original Medical, but through a private insurer. The difference is greater flexibility in the doctors and facilities you can visit for treatment.

Assess Your Own Health

Which type of Medicare is right for you depends on your own health. Are you at increased risk of heart disease or diabetes due to your weight? Are you likely to suffer from hereditary conditions such as Alzheimer’s or glaucoma? In order to answer the second question, you’ll need to delve into your family’s medical history.

Get Counseling

Even with the above information, you’ll likely need some advice before settling on a specific Medicare plan. That’s available for free through State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, or SHIPs, which offer free counseling by phone as well as presentations and workshops. What’s more, there are many informative resources online designed specifically for those individuals who don’t spend a lot of time on the internet.

Sign Up Online

When the time comes to sign up for Original Medicare, you can do that online as well, and it takes less than 10 minutes. As for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans, you may have to make a few phone calls. Bear in mind that there are enrollment periods for all of the above.

Stay Healthy

You may have the coverage you need, but you don’t want to use it unless absolutely necessary. Stay fit through a healthy diet and exercise, and Healthline recommends a routine that combines cardio with strength, balance and flexibility training. These improve your mobility while reducing risk of injury, which means fewer visits to the doctor and less need for medication.

You’ve got a long road of research ahead of you before you get the right coverage, so take a deep breath and get started. Remember to pace yourself and go step by step, and the day will soon come when Medicare starts working for you.

This article is by  Sharon Wagner

Sharon Wagner created SeniorFriendly to provide helpful tips and advice to seniors on staying healthy and making the most out of life. She is the author of the upcoming books, The Ultimate Guide to Senior-Friendly Workouts, Fitness Gear, Healthy Recipes, and More.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Orlando FL, please contact the caring staff at Flourish in Place Home Care Solutions today.  Proudly serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard Counties. Call 407-845-9797.


About Kim Lee

Robert “Kim” Lee and Melanie Ann Lee founded Flourish in Place to help seniors and adults with disabilities thrive and flourish while leading dignified and independent lives in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Kim and Melanie raised three remarkable children while helping care for Melanie’s wonderful mother, Kathryn, who lived a rich life despite dealing with bipolar disorder all her life and suffering later from post-polio syndrome. Melanie has cared for her intellectually disabled older sister for the past 18 years as Melinda’s court-appointed plenary guardian. Kim’s mother, Betsy, suffers from severe dementia. She lives in her own home with the help of compassionate family members as well as paid caregivers. Kim and Melanie’s life experiences caring for others influenced their desire to help people not merely “age in place” -- but flourish at home. Kim and Melanie are both Certified Senior Care Managers. Kim Lee is the President and Administrator. Kim earned his B.S. in Psychology from Duke University and his J.D. from the College of William and Mary School of Law. Kim practiced law as a shareholder for the prominent Orlando firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, et al. for many years, and then as Chair of the Commercial Litigation Department for Bogin, Munns & Munns. In 2001, Kim joined Rotech Healthcare Inc., a national Durable Medical Equipment company with annual sales of $500 million. The Rotech Board appointed him Chief Legal Officer in 2013. Kim has chaired a nonprofit board and volunteered in many capacities, including key leadership roles in his downtown Orlando church. As leader of Flourish in Place, Kim combines many years of legal experience as an attorney, and business acumen as a national healthcare company senior executive, with a strong passion for the mission of helping others flourish.
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