Posted by: Bert Copple | November 22, 2010

Tips for Seniors and Caregivers Researching Medicare Options

Many family caregivers might be helping their parents sort through medical finances right now because it’s the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries. (Changes to Medicare plans can be made only during this period, which runs November 15th through December 31st.)

With the Medicare deadlines around the corner, Health Plan One, a general agent in the online health insurance market, urges that research is key for seniors selecting their Medicare Advantage (MA) or Medicare supplement (Medigap) plan. According to MediLexicon News, Health Plan One offers these tips for seniors as they research their options:

Check your coverage. While seniors were promised no changes to Medicare in recent legislation, be sure your existing plan was not changed or eliminated.

Revisit your RX costs. Seniors who choose a Medigap plan generally also enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan. MA plans, governed by private carriers, can change their plan’s prescription drug formulary outline or change co-payments.

Consider your out-of-pocket costs. Review changes in your out-of-pocket costs, including office, surgery and hospital co-pays.

Location, location, location. MA plan costs differ based on the state where seniors reside. They may have many plans to select from, based on residency. Those who spend part of the year in different states may want to enroll in a Medigap plan or a MA plan with a national network.

Most Medigap plans increase rates on dates other than January 1. Review last year’s rate change and consider that it may have a similar increase at the same time next year.

As a caregiver that is helping a senior with finances, there is no better place to look for assistance than Home Instead Senior Care. They offer extremely helpful information and videos on helping parents and loved ones financially organized right at CaregiverStress.com. Specifically, the “Helping Seniors with Finances” video series provides ideas and options for getting your loved one on track.

Home Instead Senior Care will provide outstanding caregivers to help your loved one with personal care, incidental travel, companionship, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and even meal preparation. To learn more, call 248-203-2273 or visit www.homeinstead.com. Home Instead Senior Care is the world’s trusted source of in-home non-commercial personal care and companionship for seniors. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. And remember, to us, it’s personal.

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