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How to Manage Medicare Out-of-Pocket Costs

Sudhir Mathuria HEALTHLIFE 360  713-771-2900

Sudhir Mathuria

Medicare beneficiaries need to pay for significant portion of their health care costs. Just like private health insurance some time. Medicare requires beneficiaries to pay premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. But there’s a lot you can do to keep these costs manageable. Here are some steps to minimize Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs.
Premiums. Most people aren’t charged a premium for Medicare Part A hospital insurance. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B medical insurance is $134 in 2018. This amount is typically deducted from your Social Security check if you are already receiving payments, but those who have not yet claimed Social Security will receive a bill. Retirees with modified adjusted gross incomes above $85,000 for individuals and $170,000 for couples are charged higher Part B premiums.
It’s important to sign up for Medicare Part B during the initial enrollment period, which is a seven-month window that begins three months before your 65th birthday. Your Part B premiums will increase by 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for Medicare Part B but didn’t sign up for it.
The Medicare Part B deductible is $183 in 2018. Once retirees meet the deductible, they typically need to pay 20 percent of the Medicare negotiated cost for each service. Part A has a $1,340 deductible for beneficiaries who are hospitalized, and if the hospital stay lasts longer than 60 days, there are additional charges.
Supplemental insurance. Medigap policies are supplemental insurance plans that will pay for the copayments, coinsurance and deductibles of traditional Medicare and sometimes extra services in exchange for an additional premium.
Preventative care. Medicare covers a variety of preventative care services with no cost-sharing requirements, including a free annual wellness visit, flu shots and screenings for a variety of illnesses.
Prescription drug coverage. You can sign up for Medicare Part D beginning three months before you turn 65. A late enrollment penalty is added to your Part D premium if you go 63 or more days without prescription drug coverage after age 65. Medicare Part D premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, copays and covered medications vary depending on the plan you choose and change each year, even if you stick with your existing plan. You can switch Medicare Part D plans during the open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7. You are allowed to change plans every year without penalty, and it is recommended that people do it even if your drugs don’t change, the policies of the plan might change. It’s important to examine how your costs and coverage will change each year, and consider switching if you can find coverage that suits your needs at more affordable prices. The Medicare Plan Finder can help you compare the plans available in your area.
Medicare Advantage Plans: Many a times Medicare advantage plans can be very cost effective and provides additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing aid, gym membership etc. If you can stay within network, get referral in HMO plan and stay within service area, it can go a long way.
Prepare for what isn’t covered. While Medicare covers many of the services older people need, there are a few common medical services that it doesn’t. Medicare won’t pay for eyeglasses, hearing aids or dental care. Most significantly, Medicare doesn’t typically cover extended nursing home stays or other types of long-term care.
To plan for Medicare by selecting right Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Drug plan contact Sudhir Mathuria 713-771-2900. Read complete report online:www.voiceofasiaonline.com

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