Many seniors are worried about rising costs and the impact it is having on their retirement budget. As inflation pushes prices higher for basics such as food, gas and housing, are you concerned how you will afford the healthcare coverage you need on your fixed income? Here are some ways you can maximize your coverage and control your costs.
Know How Your Plan Works to Avoid Higher Costs
Whether your plan is Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare with a supplemental plan (Medigap), it’s important to understand how your plan works to avoid higher out of pocket costs and denied claims. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Know your in-network and out-of-network coverage costs. If you want coverage from specific providers and facilities, make sure they are considered in-network with the plan you choose. Some plans offer no out-of-network coverage.
- Know if you need a referral for certain services. If a referral is required and you don’t get one, your claim could be denied.
- Take advantage of preventative and routine care, usually covered with zero out-of-pocket costs. These services are important to maintaining your health, and help detect more serious issues sooner, which may ensure better health outcomes and lower costs.
- Understand the full scope of your out-of-pocket costs (deductible, copays, etc.) for the plan you select. Plans with lower premiums may look appealing but they usually come with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expense.
- Know if you are at risk of entering the Medicare prescription “Donut Hole.” There are programs available that can assist with this gap in coverage if you qualify.