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All About Medicare: A Guide for Seniors

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for different categories of people, including seniors aged 65 or older. Bridgewater, NJ, in-home senior care professionals share important information you and your senior loved one need to know about Medicare.

1. Coverage Has 4 Parts

When your loved one enrolls in Medicare, he or she should know there are four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan), and Part D. 

  • Part A – Hospitalization 
  • Part B – Outpatient services 
  • Part C – Coverage provided by private health insurance companies 
  • Part D – Prescription drugs 

2. Late Enrollment Can Be Penalized 

Your loved one should sign up for Medicare during his or her initial enrollment period. This will make him or her eligible for benefits when turning 65. However, your elderly loved one can sign up for Medicare three months prior to his or her 65th birthday. Failing to sign up during the initial enrollment period could lead to expensive premium penalty fees. 

Although your loved one can sign up for coverage up to three months after his or her 65th birthday, there will be a waiting period because he or she did not sign up by the end of the birthday month. If your loved one has already signed up for Social Security, his or her Medicare enrollment is automatic. 

3. There Is a Re-Shopping Coverage Option

The annual enrollment period for Medicare Part C and Part D typically runs from October 15th to December 7th each year. During this timeframe, your loved one has the ability to re-shop the coverage if he or she is already signed up for Medicare. This is important because insurance companies often change medication costs each year, or the companies make it difficult to get certain prescriptions. Your loved one’s prescription drug needs may change, which is another reason why re-shopping coverage is a good option. This gives him or her the opportunity to choose the most beneficial plan. 

4. Long-Term Care May Be Covered

If your loved one has been admitted to a hospital for at least three consecutive days, he or she will be eligible for care in a skilled medical facility, such as a nursing home. Medicare will pay for the first 100 days of care. Long-term care may also cover some home services for the first 100 days, including an in-home caregiver. You may want to consider hiring a professional Bridgewater, NJ, home caregiver through your loved one’s Medicare coverage in case he or she requires it. Hospice care is also covered. However, Medicare does not cover ongoing services once the 100 days have passed. There are some exceptions, depending on your loved one’s medical history and current health status.

For more information on Medicare and how it can benefit your loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We can help your loved one live as independently as possible by promoting his or her physical and emotional wellbeing. We provide dedicated live-in and respite home care. Bridgewater, NJ, families can call 908.450.9400 to learn how our comprehensive services can benefit their loved ones.