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Ways To Save Money On Medicare Costs


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    Many people on medicare are on fixed incomes and/or are trying to save money. Thankfully, there are options for those who may be struggling to pay for health and prescription drug costs. Even if you aren't eligible, it's still worth looking into for the future.

    Medicaid:

    If have a limited income, you may be eligible for Medicaid. It offers benefits that aren't normally covered by Medicare such as nursing home and personal care services. Also, you may be able to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, which is called a dual eligible. If you're completely, or "full" dual eligible, you'll receive Medicaid benefits comprehensively in addition to your Medicare. Being "partially" dual eligible means you're on a Medicare Savings Program and Medicaid pays your Medicare premiums, and also will sometimes pay your cost sharing. Note that some people are able to have Medicare, Medicaid, and a Medicare Savings Program. Every state has its own rules on eligibility, but it's worth checking to see if you're eligible, it could save you money.

    Medicare Savings Programs:

    Currently, four savings programs exist under Medicare. They could help you pay your Medicare premiums and other costs as well. Medicare Savings programs may also pay your Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance in some cases for those who qualify.

    Extra Help:

    This Medicare program also helps those with a limited income or resources pay for Medicare prescription drug costs, premiums, coinsurance and deductibles. If you have make up to $19,140 in yearly income ($25,860 for a married couple) or have to $14,610 in resources ($29,160 for a married couple), you may qualify for this program.

    Supplemental Security Income Program:

    This program provides benefits to disabled adults and children who are on a limited income. It also provides benefits to people who are 65 or older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.

    Medicare Prescription Drug Programs:

    This benefit is offered to everyone on Medicare and could certainly help take the sting off of drug costs. Joining a Medicare prescription drug program is a good way to save money on your prescription costs. You have two options to choose from to better suit your needs. Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Part D, and Part C. Part D plans add coverage to the original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, Medicare Private Fee For Service Plans, and Medicare Savings Account Plans. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage Plan, offers prescription drug coverage, as well as allows your to pick your health coverage through a range of insurance programs, much like you would normally when shopping for insurance. The area you live in determines what programs are available to you.

    Those are some ways you can save money on your healthcare costs on Medicare. Many options are out there and they should be used, especially if you're on a fixed income. I would highly recommend Medicare Advantage (Part C) to those who do not have serious preexisting conditions or specialty drug costs. You can definitely save money that way because you can shop for your coverage. What are some other ways people can save on their Medicare costs? Which option would you say applies to more people?

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    I would also consider Medigap coverage. You have to pay an extra monthly premium for it, but it can seriously help supplement the out-of-pocket expenses that come from being enrolled in just traditional Medicare (Part A and Part B).

    Its worth pointing out, you can't be enrolled in a Medigap program and Medicare Advantage at the same time, so its an either/or choice. So I would say it comes down to the amount of coverage you anticipate needing.

    If you expect to need a lot of medical assistance, and know it will be very costly, traditional Medicare + Medigap is the better route. It costs more monthly in premiums, but saves you more on health costs in general.

    But, like you said, if you don't expect to use your Medicare coverage as much and want lower monthly payments overall with still good coverage, Medicare Advantage seems like the clear route to go.

    Also know you can change your enrollment every year too, you just have to do it during the open enrollment periods.

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    WyattTown Wrote:

    I would also consider Medigap coverage. You have to pay an extra monthly premium for it, but it can seriously help supplement the out-of-pocket expenses that come from being enrolled in just traditional Medicare (Part A and Part B).

    Its worth pointing out, you can't be enrolled in a Medigap program and Medicare Advantage at the same time, so its an either/or choice. So I would say it comes down to the amount of coverage you anticipate needing.

    If you expect to need a lot of medical assistance, and know it will be very costly, traditional Medicare + Medigap is the better route. It costs more monthly in premiums, but saves you more on health costs in general.

    But, like you said, if you don't expect to use your Medicare coverage as much and want lower monthly payments overall with still good coverage, Medicare Advantage seems like the clear route to go.

    Also know you can change your enrollment every year too, you just have to do it during the open enrollment periods.

    Really good points. It's true, if you need more medical assistance, then traditional Medicare and Medigap is the way to go. Also, I really do like the versatility of Medicare Advantage as long as it fits a person's healthcare needs.