If you’re an adult child of a Medicare-eligible family member, you might feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of them. With diligent effort and some help from the quick guide below, adult children can successfully manage all aspects related to caring for their elderly parents on Medicare.
What is Medicare?
Medicare provides medical insurance for Americans 65 years old and older, disabled individuals, and others who meet specific requirements. It consists of four parts: Part A covers hospitalization, while Part B covers outpatient care. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a private plan that includes all the benefits of Parts A and B. Lastly, Part D is a prescription drug benefit available through private insurance plans.
Who is Eligible for Medicare?
To qualify, individuals must be 65 years old or older, as well as U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have lived in the United States for five years. If your parents worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years and are 65 years of age or older, they are eligible for Part A, free of premiums.
Simple Ways You Can Help.
Help your parents to stay organized by keeping accurate records, such as copies of insurance forms and doctor’s notes, or help them set up automatic payments. Remind them not to call into any TV commercials they see regarding this topic or to ever give any financial or medical information to anyone over the phone that they don’t know.
Getting the Most Out of Your Parents’ Coverage.
It is crucial that you understand what services are covered under each part of Medicare to ensure all necessary medical treatments and care expenses are included in your parents’ plan.
You should also consider supplementing Part A & B with a Part D prescription drug plan if needed and investigate additional supplemental policies such as Medigap. Finally, make sure that any doctor or specialist treating your parent accepts Medicare payments so that there are no surprises when it comes to paying the bills.
Gaining Legal Authority to Act on Their Behalf.
You may need legal authority to act on their behalf, which includes having access to medical records, speaking with doctors about treatment plans, and ensuring all directives are followed.
This legal authority is important if your parent has been diagnosed with a degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and cannot make decisions on their own. The most common way of obtaining this type of legal authority is by acquiring power of attorney (POA). Without power of attorney, your parents will be required to sign every application.
Taking care of an elderly parent on Medicare can initially seem daunting, but knowing what steps need to be taken and asking for help can make it much easier for both parties involved.
Thank you themedicarefamily.com for this content!