Becoming a family caregiver to an older adult comes with all kinds of new experiences and responsibilities. One of the things you may be struggling with is navigating the complexities of Medicare. There’s a lot to know about the plan and how you can get the most out of it for your aging relative.
Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program. It is designed to help people who are aged 65 or older to pay for their healthcare needs. There are three main parts to Medicare:
- Part A: Part A is the plan that is available at no monthly cost to most older adults. They paid for the cost while paying taxes during their working years. It primarily covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, and long-term care in a skilled nursing facility.
- Part B: This plan requires a monthly premium payment. It helps pay for doctor visits, medical equipment, x-rays, ambulance services, and more.
- Part D: Part D also costs a monthly premium. It helps cover prescription drug costs.
There is also a Medicare Advantage option, which is sometimes called Part C. These plans are offered through insurance companies. The coverages available depend on the company the plan is purchased through. To find out more about a Part C plan, caregivers will need to contact the insurance company. More information about Medicare plans is available on the Medicare website at medicare.gov.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Medicare
Although you may have experience with health insurance through your employer, Medicare works a bit differently. As a family caregiver, you probably want to maximize the care your aging relative gets without increasing their costs. Below are some tips for caregivers to use to help their loved ones get the most out of Medicare:
- Talk to the Doctor’s Office: Before getting medical care from a new provider, talk to their office to make sure they are currently accepting new Medicare patients. Also, find out if they take the older adult’s specific Medicare plan. Medicare can help caregivers to find providers who are taking Medicare patients.
- Free Physical: If your aging relative signed up for Part B in the last 12 months, they are eligible for a free physical as a “welcome gift” as long as they do so within one year of their effective date.
- Get Preventative Care: There are lots of preventative care benefits available, like flu shots and screenings for cardiovascular disease. However, you should be aware that if the doctor finds a problem, the older adult may have costs associated with treatment.
- Plan for Co-pays: Caregivers who take care of financial matters for an older adult should factor in copays when creating a monthly budget.
There is help available to caregivers who are struggling with Medicare issues. You can get help online or by calling a Medicare representative. However, you will need to have permission from your aging relative to access their information as it is protected by law. A Medicare representative can assist you with the steps needed to gain access.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Memorial, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
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