With change on the horizon for senior healthcare, you need to be aware of what options are available to you as an older American to pay for and receive the best healthcare or other senior care and services that keep you living well.
Know your coverage to get the best healthcare as a senior.
If you want to get the best care, you must make sure that you have a healthcare plan that can help you pay for it.
So be aware of what kind of coverage your particular plan will pay for—especially when it comes to receiving specialized care and/or rehabilitation services at a nursing home that will last for more than 3 months.
Many seniors go to their senior healthcare provider to be referred to a specialist for what would seem like a routine procedure for an older adult, such as getting a new eyeglass prescription or being fitted for a hearing aid, only to find out that this kind of care is no covered by their Medicare plan or private insurance. Also pay attention to:
- Routine dental or eye care
- Cosmetic surgery
- Routine foot care
Even if Medicare covers a service or item, you’ll probably still be responsible for a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance.
Be aware of what you would be getting with a supplement plan.
You could get a Medicare supplement plan from a private insurance company to cover those areas of your senior healthcare that Medicare doesn’t cover like copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, or any medical care you may need while travelling overseas.
However, if you’re looking into supplements to cover specialized care and services not covered by Medicare, a supplement may not be for you. Most of these Medigap plans don’t cover long-term care, vision, dental, hearing aids, or eyeglasses.
Prepare for the future.
While living in your own home as your grow older is always an appealing idea, there may come a time when you require regular assistance to be safe at home. You must have a plan in place to pay for care services or expenses at a senior living community. Or maybe just need to recover from a surgery or procedure at a rehabilitation center and/or nursing home.
Unfortunately, Medicare only pays for long-term care or rehabilitation services under 3 circumstances, and even then, it’s only for a limited amount of time
To have Medicare pay for any of your long-term care you must meet certain requirements:
- You must have spent at least 3 days in the hospital.
- You were admitted to a Medicare-certified nursing home within 30 days of your hospital stay
- You need skilled care, such as nursing services, physical therapy, or other types of therapy.
If you meet these conditions, Medicare will pay for some of your costs for up to 100 days.
- 100 percent of your costs for the first 20 days.
- Expenses over $140/day for days 21 through 100
After 100 days, you are responsible for 100 percent of costs.
Assess your senior healthcare needs.
The next time you go over your health coverage, make sure you have a plan that will cover your needs now and in the future. Your healthcare plan should be able to:
- Cover all kinds of medical care. From trips to the doctor’s office and hospitalization to prescription drugs, medical tests, and long-term care services.
- Limit your out-of-pocket. The best insurance should pick up the tab for of your medical expenses without an exorbitant deductible or co-pay—$5,000 to $10,000 a year is about the average out-of-pocket expense for senior healthcare.
Medicare can help you cover many of your senior healthcare expenses, but not all plans will cover all expenses. Be aware of what kind of coverage your plan offers and what other plans for which you might be eligible.