With aging comes a whole host of physical, mental, and emotional changes. There’s no need to be unprepared, however. When you or a loved one enters retirement or is coming close to, it’s vital to learn what the options you have to choose from as you move into a new, exciting stage of living. Senior healthcare is one of the most important issues for older adults. Few, if any, seniors can afford to be without adequate medical coverage. Therefore, SeniorSmart is here to walk you through the top five things you need to know about senior healthcare. This way, you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
Medicaid Has a “Spend Down”
Medicaid is a healthcare program partially funded by the federal government and executed by individual states. Typically, a senior’s income must be very low to qualify for Medicaid, and this occurs only after the spend-down has been met. Medicaid spend-down requires a senior to exhaust their financial assets like savings accounts to pay for medical care before they can be considered eligible for coverage. Unfortunately, this puts a significant burden on seniors who need their financial assets to meet day-to-day living expenses.
Seniors Can Purchase Private Health Insurance
If a senior is not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare or would like to have additional coverage with Medicare, they can purchase private health insurance. In some cases, private health insurance may be offered by an employer or a spouse’s employer. The cost of senior healthcare on a private basis tends to be more expensive than insurance coverage for younger adults. Often, seniors have higher copays and deductibles.
Seniors with Medicare/Medicaid May Be Eligible for Medigap
Medigap is a type of supplemental health insurance for seniors that covers out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare typically doesn’t. This includes but isn’t limited to co-insurance, deductibles, and copays. Medigap policies are generally provided by private insurers and can only be applied after Medicare has paid their share of the cost of medical services. There are some services that Medigap does not cover, such as long-term care, dental, vision, hearing, or private nursing care.
Veterans’ Benefits May Be Available to Former Servicemembers
If a senior has served in the military, they may be eligible for VA benefits or medical care provided by Veterans Affairs. Veterans Affairs have special hospitals and doctor’s offices that accept only veterans, and typically, veterans with VA benefits must use these providers. However, in some cases, VA-covered seniors may be able to seek care from a private hospital. In most cases, the VA will fully cover the medical care of an eligible veteran.
Medicare/Medicaid May Cover Assisted Living Expenses
If you or a loved one need to be placed in assisted living for help with daily tasks such as eating and bathing, Medicare/Medicaid may help with these costs. While the far majority of seniors in assisted living rely on their savings accounts or private health insurance to cover the expense, some low-income individuals may be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid to pay their assisted living costs.
SeniorSmart: Dedicated to Providing Today’s Seniors with Quality Information
There is a lot of information out there about how to claim your Social Security benefits, how to navigate Medicare and Medicaid, and how to learn more about your options for living in retirement. However, it can be overwhelming. With a trusted guide, you and your family can make the best decisions for your situation. Living the lifestyle, you desire in retirement is as easy as reaching out to SeniorSmart and exploring what we have to offer. You can browse our site or contact us at 205.460.1124 to learn more.