Preparing yourself with the proper tools helps to make any job a bit easier. If you are baking, you need the proper ingredients. When building something, you need hammers, nails and other related items. It’s the same when you are preparing for your Health Plan Open Enrollment session; or if you are a caregiver, for your person’s Medicare Annual Enrollment.
In life, we always have options. And when it comes to covering the costs of long-term care, it is no different. In this article, I’ll share a few viable strategies you can use to help cover the future costs of care in our Aloha State. It is by no means all-encompassing and exhaustive, but meant to get you thinking on this critically important topic.
Often, families don’t know where to turn when a loved one suddenly needs constant care. Insurance and Medicare plans may cover very few long-term care expenses — or none at all. In the past, nursing homes were the only option for care outside of the family home. However, now there are many home- and community-based services that help support aging in place.
I have spent a decade conducting educational workshops and meeting with individuals transitioning to Medicare or already there. I encourage everyone to explore resources at www.socialsecurity.gov and www.medicare.gov to become knowledgeable before services are needed. I also stress the importance of keeping Medicare cards, medication lists, the names of your physicians and any ongoing health conditions on hand.
If something happens and you are in need of help, will your family and friends be fumbling at a time when every minute counts? Do they know where you keep your keys, computer passwords, bank account numbers, meds, medical directives, will and estate plan?
One question that is frequently asked by people about to turn 65 who have health insurance through an employer is: “Do I need to enroll in Medicare?” Good question! If you or your spouse are still working when you turn age 65 and have insurance through your employer you may consider delaying Medicare Part A and Part B until you retire if you have Creditable Coverage, which means coverage as good as Medicare. Or you can choose to elect your Part A, which is premium-free, and delay Part B until retirement. Depending on the size of the group, one plan would be primary while the other would be secondary.
According to Kathryn Coleman, Director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), a final rule issued in April 2018 has redefined the “primarily health related” supplement benefit definition. As a result, CMS expects Medicare Advantage plan sponsors to begin offering services for enrollees needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
Were you a high school senior in 1972, singing Alice Cooper’s classic hit, “School’s Out” (for Summer)? Then you may be turning 65 soon and wondering if you need Medicare insurance. Figuring it out on your own may leave you clicking through a lot of scam websites and staring at a mountain of brochures and flyers that arrived in the mail.