Planning for retirement can be a lot of fun. After years of having to get up and go to work, you finally get to do what you want, when you want. If you want to travel the world, you have that option. Should you decide to spend time with family and friends, you can do that too. In addition to thinking about how you will spend your time, you’ll also need to consider the things Medicare benefits cover and how you’ll take care of your health in your retirement years.
Since you will no longer be working, you won’t have access to a company insurance plan. However, in your lifetime of work, you paid into Medicare, so when you turn 65 this will become your primary insurance provider. Knowing what Medicare covers will help you plan for medical needs as you age.
What Do Medicare Benefits Cover?
There are different types of Medicare benefits and they cover different things. The most popular plans that people choose from include Medicare Part A and Part B. However, there are also options that include Part C and Part D. Knowing which one is the best option for you will depend on your medical needs.
Medicare Part A
If you require hospitalization or care in a skilled nursing facility, this part of your Medicare benefits will cover the cost. It can also help pay for hospice care. You won’t be required to make any payments if your hospital stay is 60 days or less. If it is between 61 and 90 days, then you will accrue expenses on a daily basis. After 91 days, those costs will increase.
Medicare Part B
This part of your Medicare benefits covers doctor visits and other medically necessary services, including supplies. These include preventative services to prevent illness, as well as mental health coverage, medical equipment, and ambulance services. A few outpatient prescription drugs are also covered with this plan.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is the part of your healthcare plan that covers prescription drugs. This is often available through private insurance providers and requires a monthly premium. Any of the prescription drugs that aren’t covered by Part B should be taken care of with this plan.
This plan is also referred to as Medicare Part C and is a health plan that provides benefits for Parts A, B, and D. This plan may also provide other services, including eye, hearing, and dental exams. You may also qualify for things such as home health care and other services that aren’t offered in traditional Medicare benefits.
What Isn’t Covered by Medicare?
Medicare benefits cover a lot of medical expenses, but they aren’t comprehensive. There are some things that aren’t covered. Below are some of the things that are not covered in your Part A and Part B plans.
Copayments, Deductibles, Monthly Premiums
Even if you have Medicare benefits, you don’t get these things for free. You are still expected to pay copayments, deductibles, and monthly premiums. These may come at a lower price depending on your plan and the fact that you have paid into this benefit while working, but it’s not free.
Knowing that you will still have some costs that you will need to take care of can help you plan for your medical future and get the insurance plan that is right for you. Medical advances are allowing people to live longer, so it’s possible to live well into your 90s. Make sure you have the coverage to take care of any medical expenses that might arise in that time.
If you own any type of property, have a family, or have financial investments, then you need to have life insurance. This will ensure that these items are protected and your family is taken care of when you die. If you want this policy, though, you’ll have to obtain it separately from your Medicare benefits.
This means that you will have another monthly premium to pay for your life insurance policy. Make sure to get a plan that will cover what you need it to cover but is also affordable. If you don’t make your payments, your policy will be canceled, and this won’t help anyone.
Numerous studies have shown that there is a connection between your oral health and your overall health. As you age, it’s imperative that you take care of your teeth. If you don’t, you have an increased risk of developing respiratory illness, heart disease, diabetes, and blood disorders.
Getting in for regular dental visits is the best way to keep your mouth clean and find and correct any issues that might occur. However, if preventative treatment isn’t covered by your Medicare benefits, then it may be challenging to get in for these appointments.
If issues do arise and you need to be fitted for dentures, this cost also won’t be covered by your Medicare benefits. Since these can be incredibly expensive, you may not be able to afford them if you’re on a limited income. However, if you are aware that dental care isn’t covered before you get your Medicare plan, you can make arrangements to have these costs covered by supplemental or secondary insurance. This will ensure that you get the care you need to be as healthy as possible.
Medical Care Outside of the U.S.
If you’re planning on traveling overseas during your retirement years, make sure you’re aware that your Medicare benefits won’t cover any medical costs that might accrue. Whether they are an emergency or to treat an illness, you will be responsible for paying for these expenses.
Hearing loss is an incredibly common ailment for older individuals. To ensure that you can still experience the world around you and enjoy being with loved ones, you may decide that you want to get hearing aids to help with your hearing loss.
Should this be the route you decide to take, know that Medicare benefits won’t pay for your exam or the devices. If you have to pay for these out of your own pocket, this could have an impact on whether or not you get them at all.
Steps You Can Take to Prepare
You have been looking forward to retirement for a while, and you should be able to enjoy your Golden Years. However, knowing how you are going to pay for medical expenses should they arise can be cause for concern. Your Medicare benefits will cover some costs, but not all. Thankfully, there are ways to cover those other expenses.
Consider Getting Medigap
Many insurance providers offer Medigap, also known as Medicare supplement insurance, to help cover the costs of medical treatments and procedures that traditional Medicare benefits won’t. In most states, there are 10 different types of Medigap plans available, and they can cover things such as dental, vision, hearing aids, prescription drugs, medical issues while traveling outside the U.S., and long-term care.
You will have to pay monthly premiums for these plans, but there are a variety to choose from, so you should be able to find one that will fit your budget. With various options, you can also find a plan that will fit your specific medical needs.
Don’t Wait to Find a Plan
When you turn 65, that’s when your Medicare benefits kick in. Even if you have additional insurance, it is considered secondary to Medicare at that point. If you need supplemental insurance, it’s best to get this in place before your 65th birthday. If you don’t, you will be subject to penalties or you may not qualify for the plans at all.
Most people start looking for plans when they are 64. This ensures that they have enough time to get the plan in place before their next birthday. You won’t be able to predict how long you are going to live or if any medical issues are going to crop up, but if you find a plan that is comprehensive, then you should be able to cover most of your needs.
You’ll also need to take into consideration your monthly income and lifestyle. Again, these insurance plans come with premiums that have to be paid each month. If they aren’t, your insurance will lapse and you won’t be covered. If this happens, you will be responsible for all expenses yourself—and that can get incredibly expensive. Don’t waste time. Start looking into Medicare benefits and Medigap as soon as possible.
Finding an Insurance Provider
Medicare benefits and Medigap are provided by private insurers and vary from state to state and provider to provider, although they have to abide by certain rules and regulations. That means that prices can vary depending on where you get your insurance. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to shop around for the best price.
You also want to work with an insurance provider who can answer your questions and find the plan that is right for you. Contact Senior Solutions Group today to get your questions answered. They can walk you through the enrollment process and help you determine which supplemental insurance plans will work best for your needs.