According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the number of Medicare beneficiaries in Hawai‘i has grown to 281,091. Seventy-two percent of beneficiaries have prescription drug coverage through Medicare Parts C and D. Even so, prescriptions can be expensive. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is intended to help lower copays for covered medications.
Ever imagine you might need to become a contestant on “Jeopardy” to pay your healthcare costs? Your answer may be no, but it seems it pays to understand how a health maintenance organization (HMO) works, if you have one.
Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP) occurs every Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Beneficiaries may enroll in, switch to or disenroll from Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage (MA) or Part D prescription (PDP) drug coverage. Changes made during OEP take effect on Jan. 1 of the following year.
Hawai‘i’s Sage PLUS (SHIP) counselors are often asked, “What is Medicare, and how does it affect me?” Medicare is the United State’s federal health insurance that is available to those 65 years and older, and to people at any age with certain disabilities. You can choose to use the government’s Original/Traditional Medicare, or a commercial Medicare Health Plan or a Medicare Supplement (also known as “Medigap” insurance).
In Hawaii, we live an average of 81 years— longer than almost anywhere else in the world. But when it comes to successful aging, the key is to not only live longer, but to live longer as a healthy individual. The way to better health is taking care of ourselves as we age, which helps prevent the decline of our physical and mental abilities. And although any doctor would agree with that, the health care industry has traditionally emphasized treatment over prevention.
One of the rites of fall for most employees is the opportunity to review and revise their benefit options for the next year (the next benefits year could start in January or sooner). This is often referred to as the “open enrollment” period. Typically, all employees of a company or organization can make adjustments to their benefit options at this time.
Our parents may have had an easier time than many of us do now. When they turned 65 years old, they were eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare. Today, depending on the year you were born, your full SS may not take effect until you are 67, so you may continue to work and you’re eligible for Medicare. So what should you do?