Reducing Your Out-Of-Pocket Medicare Healthcare Costs

doctor office visit insurance medicare

How To Figure Out Medicare Health Insurance

When we reach retirement age, we begin to receive a monthly check from the government. This is not a gift. Throughout our lives, money is taken from our salary and paid into the Social Security Administration.

Medicare is a government administered health insurance program for people over 65 years old or people with disabilities. Medicare health insurance is not free, though Medicaid does help people of low income with some of their health insurance needs at no cost.

Medicare Is Made Up Of  4 Parts

Original Medicare Parts A & B

Medicare Part A pays for inpatient hospital visits. There is no charge to the patient who is on SSI.

Medicare Part B pays for the doctor office visits, with basic and some preventative health care issues. There are specifics on what it will and will not pay. There is a premium for part B which is deducted from the patients Social Security Income check every month. Part A & B only pays for 80% of the medical costs and the policyholder pays the remaining 20%.  For that remaining 20% there is a supplemental policy available for purchase, also called a Medigap plan.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C coverage is also called Medicare Advantage. If you receive Medicare parts A & B you can enroll in part C. This is insurance purchased through private insurance companies. It is designed to have zero cost to the patient or a very low cost. It all depends on what type of coverage you take. Just like any private company, you have options of HMO or PPO, and/or special needs policies and these choices affect your costs.  When a person decides to switch to Part C or Medicare Advantage, this takes the place of original Medicare Part A & B.  You cannot have both.  Every year you can switch Medicare Advantage plans, you do not have to stay with the same private insurance company or even with the same plan.  You can switch from HMO to PPO or vice versa. If you decide to switch you have to do that during the annual open enrollment period. The open enrollment period is the same time each and every year from October 15 until December 7.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is for prescription drugs. This is necessary because most medications are not covered by standard Medicare.

Source: NAAIP

How To Reduce Your Out-of-Pocket Costs

  1. Review your options carefully. If you need prescription drugs, it is a safe bet that you will save a lot of money by enrolling in Part D, besides if you only have original Medicare A& B, part D is required or you will receive a penalty.
  2. Review your financial situation and determine if you are eligible for any assistance through Medicaid.
  3. Choose your Medicare Part C provider carefully. The difference in premiums is only worth it if the policy covers your particular needs. Be sure you are getting the right policy for you and review them annually for changes in your financial situation. Make sure your doctors accept this plan.
  4. If you are unsure about your coverage, make an appointment to discuss your policy with your agent.
  5. Use generic medications whenever possible.

happy seniors traveling

Stay Healthy

  • Go for your annual check-up or also called a wellness check.
  • Follow-up with your doctor when asked to.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Take supplements if needed.
  • Exercise
  • Avoid stress

Live Life Fully!

It is scientifically proven that people are healthier (and happier) when they take regular vacations. You need time away from your comfort zone. You worked hard to reach retirement. You do not have to sit in your lawn chair day after day and never get out and enjoy life.

There are package deals available at a lot of resort areas. You can enjoy your trip because it requires very little planning on your part. The hardest part of your job will be getting to the airport.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

For example go visit the Princess Royale, in Ocean City, Maryland. Just go to the site and see the beautiful coastal city that is waiting for you. You will be amazed at the luxurious spas, suites with balcony views, shopping, dining, clubs, and casinos that are all minutes from the resort.

Be wise with your money. Be wise with your health. Enjoy your life and the fruit of your labor.

No one wants to think about being under-cover, or worse. No one wants to worry that a serious illness will take everything they have saved.

This will not happen if you are frugal. But, don’t forget, life is for the living.  So save your money and spend it on seeing places you have never seen. Just go, because time stands still for no one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.