Medicare for my Parents

Are one or both of your parents approaching Medicare eligibility? We understand there’s a lot of information to learn, and we’re here to help you help them. From signing up to making sure they have the right coverage, we’ll assist you in getting your parents set up on Medicare.

How Do I Help My Parents With Medicare?

Whether you’ll be responsible for your parents’ healthcare or you’re just helping out, the first step is to learn the fundamentals of Medicare. Contrary to popular belief, Original Medicare isn’t free and doesn’t pay for everything.

Part A is inpatient, and Part B is outpatient coverage. When you hear about Part C, this refers to an Advantage plan, which private insurance companies offer. Some Advantage plans include Part D. But, if you select Medigap or Medicare, standalone Part D is available to enroll in separately.

The Medicare Supplement plans that are most popular include; Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. Although depending on your parents’ eligibility, they may not qualify for all three plans.

How You Can Help Your Parents Enroll in Medicare

Signing up is relatively simple and is done through Social Security. Remember that each of your parents become eligible in their own time, and marriage doesn’t factor into enrollment. Each person enrolls separately during their Initial Enrollment Period.

If your parent is collecting Social Security, enrollment in Medicare is automatic. But, you’ll want to speak to your parent(s) about their coverage needs to make sure they have the correct health care.

How to Understand Your Parents’ Coverage Needs

The most significant aspects to consider are their health and budget. Also, be sure to weigh the importance of their preferences.

How important are their doctors? If they’re considering an Advantage plan, you’ll need to make sure their preferred practitioners are in-network. If your parent frequently needs to see specialists, an Advantage plan might not be the best option. In Advantage plans, patients often need referrals to see specialists.

Do your parents plan to travel outside of the United States? If so, Supplement plans would be a wise choice for them.

Be sure not only to consider your parents’ current health and finances but also the future. Sometimes higher premiums can keep overall costs lower.

Enrolling in Part D sooner than later is a wise choice. Even if your parents aren’t on any prescriptions, what they save in drug costs over the years can easily outweigh the premiums they’ll pay upfront.

If your parents need financial help with Medicare, there are several savings programs available. These can be worth looking into even if your parents’ income and assets exceed the limit.

What Forms Are Needed to Help Parents with Medicare?

If you’re going to be more heavily involved in your parents’ Medicare coverage, you’ll need them each to fill out the Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information form. If you’re speaking to a carrier on their behalf, they might need to submit the form to the carrier. It’s necessary to fill out this form even if you’re translating a conversation.

Helping Your Parents with Medicare Through the Years

Beyond helping your parents learn more, enroll, and select coverage, you can help them stay safe and keep the best plan for them. Talk to your parent(s) about fraud, waste, and abuse, and how they can avoid falling victim to it. Also, make sure they always pay their premiums, so their plan never lapses.

Each September, make sure you go over their Annual Notice of Change letter with them to make sure they’re still happy with their coverage. If they aren’t, you can help them make changes. Become familiar with the enrollment periods when changes are allowed.

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