Many people with Medicare don’t have a full understanding of how the insurance works and how to best take advantage of it. Using this insurance can be especially confusing when switching from an employer-provided plan. Thankfully, though, we’ve put together a quick go-to guide for new retirees that outlines six need-to-know tips for using Medicare.
You Won’t Be Able to Provide Coverage for Your Spouse or Children
One of the biggest drawbacks of Medicare is you can’t use the plan to provide coverage to your spouse or children. On the upside, though, it is possible for your spouse to get his or her own Medicare plan. Still yet, being that your health needs are likely much different than that of your spouse, the two of you will probably need two different types of Medicare health insurance. Once both of you find a policy that can best meet your needs, you are sure to enjoy all of the coverage Medicare provides. Do keep in mind that neither of you can sign up for this type of health coverage until you are at least 65-years-old.
Understand the Details
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to read the fine print of your Medicare health plan. While many employer-provided plans have strict out-of-pocket limits, a Medicare plan usually does not. In fact, this type of insurance covers 80 percent of eligible medical expenses and there is no cap on how much can come out of your pocket. Because of this, you may find it best to stick with an employer-provided plan for as long as possible.
Schedule Your Procedures Wisely
If you currently have coverage through an employer, you will want to compare what your out-of-pocket liability is going to be to what you will have to pay with a Medicare plan. You may find that it is far better to go ahead and have certain procedures performed while you are covered with an employer-provided plan than to wait a few years down the road when all you have is Medicare coverage. On the other side of the fence, though, you may find that being covered under Medicare’s hospitalization coverage will be far more cost-efficient than having a surgery performed right now with your employer-provided plan.
Medicare Offers Exceptional Wellness Features
There is a wide range of free wellness services offered through Medicare. And for those suffering from a chronic illness, Medicare tends to beat any employer-provided plan in terms of receiving sophisticated medical care. More so, Medicare is well known for providing first-class in-person care from physicians and other health professionals. With employer coverage, you’re likely to get more telephone advice services rather than in-person care. Because of this, you need to speak with the benefits department of your current insurance as well as the benefits department with Medicare to pinpoint which appointments and tests you should have performed now and which ones will be more cost-efficient to put off until you have Medicare coverage.
You can Perform Research to Save Money
With coverage through an employer, you won’t likely have any control over which prescriptions are covered under the plan. If you get a Medicare Part D prescription plan, though, you will receive coverage through a private insurer. Even better is that you can use the helpful Medicare tool to compare the various coverage plans, which helps you choose a private insurer that can best meet your needs according to where you live. By doing research, you may be able to get prescription coverage for far cheaper than you will through an employer-provided plan.
You May Have to Enroll Yourself In Medicare
Many people are confused on how to enroll in Medicare. They hear from some people that there is no enrollment process, while others claim they have to sign up on their own. Here’s what you need to know. If you are receiving Social Security (SS) retirement benefits when you turn 65, there is no need to take any further action because you will automatically be signed up for both Medicare Part A and Part B. If, however, you aren’t receiving SS Retirement benefits when you turn 65, you will have to sign up for Medicare on your own.
All of the six tips outlined above are great starting points for gaining a better understanding of how Medicare works and how you can take full advantage of it.