For many children of aging parents, navigating the complexities of government programs for their loved ones can be an overwhelming experience. Yet, caregivers of seniors are often called upon to give advice on Medicare and help guide their loved ones through the process. Like anything in life, being prepared is essential to success, so we’ve gathered a few basic tips to help make navigating the Medicare process less stressful for senior caregivers.
Know The ABC’s Of Medicare
Medicare has several different parts which need to be understood to make the process of helping your loved one easier. Once you are familiar with these parts, you will be better prepared to assist in navigating Medicare. Part A is hospital insurance, and Part B is medical insurance. Original Medicare includes both Parts A and B; the caveat is that Part A is free, where Part B contains premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.
It is important to note that Part A typically covers nursing home care, home health services, hospice, and hospital and skilled nursing facility care. Part C covers Parts A and B. Part D covers prescription drugs and supplemental insurance added to Original Medicare, which requires premiums.
Meeting Deadlines Is Vital; Missing Deadlines Is Bad News
As overwhelming as it may be to take on helping a loved one manage their Medicare, remaining prudent with timing is vital. Missing deadlines to apply for Medicare can lead to higher premiums and penalties that create unnecessary, burdensome costs. Caregivers must remain vigilant of Medicare deadlines when aiding their loved ones.
Typically, people are eligible to apply for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday. An Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) includes the three-month periods before and after the 65th birthday and is the primary opportunity to enroll in Medicare. Medicare sign-up should take place during this window to be the most effective. Delays in signing up and missing the time frames may result in higher premiums throughout the lifetime of the Medicare coverage.
Meeting With A Medicare Professional
As with navigating any governmental program, meeting with a professional to discuss Medicare options can help you streamline the Medicare planning and process for your loved one. Experienced agents can more easily break down the cycle into manageable parts that will allow you to feel in control, informed, and ahead of the game.
For caregivers of seniors, navigating the world of Medicare can be a breeze with knowledge, time management, and help from Medicare solutions specialists.