As we age our health care needs tend to grow. Having the right coverage plan will give you peace of mind that the services and providers will be there when you need them. For those who have an aging parent, or are past retirement age themselves, having this security is even more crucial.
The applicant’s unique circumstances will play a role in the final decision, and a customized plan could be the right choice. Here are our top tips for choosing health coverage for your aging parent:
Know What They Need
The plan you select for your aging parents should fit their healthcare and lifestyle needs. Before making a commitment you should understand the services they use now, and what they will need in the future. The cost may be a consideration, and if this is the case it is generally cheaper to sacrifice a few benefits for a lower price.
You should find out whether they use an existing network of health care professionals as you will want to maintain consistent care. It is also important to be aware of any medications they take.
For Over 65s
Paying a little extra could give you more options. After the age of 65, Americans become eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, also known as Original Medicare. It is likely your parents will have this and it will cover the basics such as hospital visits, X-rays, hospice care, and checkups.
A Medicare Advantage Plan is suitable for those who have Medicare Part A and B and want a simplified system with one bill, and lower copays. This plan, also known as Part C, also generally includes other perks, such as vision and dental coverage, as well as the benefits of Part D (prescription drug coverage).
Use a Comparison Tool
Plans may vary between locations and the unique health requirements of your aging parents. A comparison tool is an online questionnaire that examines the needs of the individual. Anthem is one Medicare-approved insurance company that provides this service on its website, and it takes you through a number of scenarios to find the right solution.
When you finish the questionnaire you will be given a range of customized plans to choose from. You can usually apply online with minimal fuss. It can be daunting caring for aging parents, and if you need advice you should contact the service provider.
Medicare Part D
Some seniors will need prescription coverage, and this can be added to the Original Medicare plan. Most people over the age of 65 will need this drug plan, and it can save a significant amount of money. Medicare Part D can offer reduced costs for prescriptions and the copay could be as little as $0.
If your aging parent has a Medicare Advantage Plan or drug coverage from elsewhere, this won’t be necessary. For anyone else who isn’t covered for drugs and has Medicare Part A and B this service will be beneficial. It can also be a good idea to sign up for this in advance, even if it isn’t needed just yet.
There may be some drugs that aren’t covered. Be sure to check this before applying.
The Last Word
Looking after the health of your aging parents will be easier when you know they are covered. A customized plan will ensure they can access the services they need, and be protected in case of an emergency. It is important to understand their needs, prescriptions, and finances to determine the best plan. Good luck!