When it comes to covering services Medicare doesn’t cover, there are more options for extra help benefits than most people realize. Although Medicare offers coverage for many health-care services, often additional coverage is found elsewhere.
Fortunately, seniors have more than Medicare only products available for health care benefits and treatment coverage.
Covering Services Medicare Doesn’t Cover
The best way to keep the costs of medical expenses at a minimum is by being proactive with health care coverage. Using given resources, supplement insurances, and insurance plan strategies help to avoid gaps in healthcare benefits.
Take some time beforehand to research the different savings options for the services Medicare doesn’t cover. A variety of options are available, knowing them is half the battle.
Talking with a team of health-care professionals to get an idea of what potential costs you may face later in retirement. If you have extensive health concerns, long-term care or custodial care coverage may be beneficial.
Long-term Care (Custodial Care)
Purchasing a long-term care insurance policy may provide beneficiaries some financial relief during retirement years. For seniors, the cost of long-term care is potentially the largest expense.
In 2017 the Genworth Cost of Care Study reports this expense. Stating that on average, the cost of a private room in a nursing home was almost $97,500.
The price of a room in an assisted-living facility can cost $45,000. The most popular option is for individuals needing assistance from a home health aide can cost up to $49,000 for 44 hours of care a week.
These numbers are on the rise. Costs have been increasing 3-4% every year for the last 5 years. Nearly every insurance carrier has increased rates at least one time. Increases may vary depending on the company and the state.
Although, not everyone has a retirement plan or a savings account for medical expenses. For some people with low-income costs who have little no assets, Medicaid pays the full costs of long-term custodial care.
The Veterans Administration may also cover custodial care for qualifying beneficiaries. However, buying long-term care insurance gives members coverage for additional care.
Things like bathing, getting dressed, and other simple day-to-day activities become possible with custodial care coverage. We buy car insurance before we need to use it; well, buying custodial care insurance before it’s a necessity is even more important.
Dental, Hearing, and Vision
Creating a health savings account prior to Medicare enrollment can help pay for costs of dental, hearing and vision services. After enrolling in Medicare, you may no longer add to your health savings account. Although, any money put into the account beforehand is tax-free for out-of-pocket health-care costs.
Adults suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss can purchase hearing aids over-the-counter devices for now. In the future, the FDA plans to release approved and regulated aids – with more variety and options. However, no date is put in place just yet.
Other options for coverage include joining a dental discount plan, supplemental insurance (Medigap) policy or an Advantage plan (MA) to provide additional benefits. Medicare doesn’t cover much when it comes to dental, only medical-related dental issues.
Although, coverage for routine dental, vision, and hearing can be affordable outside of these plans.
Sometimes local eyewear shops will have a new member discount. Then, there are dental places that have affordable finance options.
The best solution for you depends greatly on your needs.
Alternative Medicines and Treatments
Some alternative medicines and treatments are becoming more popular among consumers. Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA) may cover the costs of certain services. Such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic services, and certain addiction recovery programs.
Pre-tax money is put into an FSA to use for the costs of out-of-pocket medical expenses. However, you must spend the money on health care expenses by the end of the year.
Health savings accounts may also pay for these services. Some insurers, like Aetna, gives members a 15% discount on things like herbal supplements, aromatherapy, and homeopathic remedies.
Coverage is now available for acupuncture chiropractic services, and other treatments through a firm in Oakland, Kaiser Permanente.
Seeking a Medigap and Part D prescription drug policy can give beneficiaries more comprehensive coverage. Supplement plans fill the holes that Medicare leaves behind.
Additionally, having Part D drug coverage helps pay for medications. Average monthly costs for Part D plans are about $33. Sometimes Rx Savings or prescription discount cards can help with the co-payments for medications.
Other income programs are available such as pharmacy assistance programs. Drug manufacturers, private foundations and other help programs are available for low-income individuals, including Medicare-beneficiaries.
The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) can also provide beneficiaries with Extra Help covering prescription deductibles, copayments, and coverage gap expenses.
Medical Care While Traveling Abroad
Buying travel insurance for medical expenses when traveling outside the U.S is ideal. These policies may cover evacuations in medical emergencies such as transportation via medical plane or helicopter.
However, buying a comprehensive travel insurance policy with medical coverage is the best option for those who like to travel. Needing an air ambulance ride home from Asia could cost well over $20,000.
Having insurance for potential medical issues while abroad protects individuals from such costs. There are some Medigap policies that offer a simple foreign travel coverage option.
Routine Foot Care
The cutting or removal of corns and calluses is necessary. Groupon offers coupons for discount fingernail and toenail care services. This includes trimming, cutting and clipping the nails and cuticles.
Services provide hygienic and other preventative care such as cleansing and soaking the feet. Routine foot care services may benefit individuals who stand for most of the day.
Also, certain spas and salons offer discount services or specials for seniors.