Elder Care Programs

Many times when we’re looking for senior care and elder care programs, we’re trying to find if there are any financial benefits or programs that will help pay for the high costs of elder care.  There are a few programs available, but they require a lot of investigation, evaluation and searching to educate yourself on what they can offer.

“You Don’t Have To Be A Specialist To Find Dependable Elder Care Programs…”

Today, and hopefully for the future, Medicare beneficiaries are offered a range of choices in how best they will receive Medicare benefits and payments.  Depending on the specific plan and it’s details, the range of services covered varies, as some of the costs will be paid by the elder.  Each Medicare plan offers all covered Medicare services, bus tome pay them out at a higher rate than others.  The choices include:

Traditional Medicare – the federal insurance program covering a portion of medical and hospital bills for those aged 65 and over, regardless of income, and those already receiving Social Security benefits.  The US Government program, like many, is somewhat confusing — because it’s really two health plans in one.  Part A is for hospital fees and Part B is for medical.  Part B isn’t free and requires a monthly premium payment.  There is also a limited prescription drug benefit program.  Even if an elder hasn’t elected to begin receiving Social Security, he or she can still receive Medicare coverage.  Apply for Medicare at your local Social Security Office.

Medicaid – is the federal and state assistance program that helps pay medical bills of low-income people of all ages, but especially for those aged 65+.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries and Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiaries – this is par of the Medicaid program that pays Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-payments for low-income enrollees.  Any state, welfare, social service or public health agency that handles Medicaid applications also accepts applications to both of these plans.

Now most looking for elder care programs that supplement their traditional Medicare with private “MediGap” policies, which bridges the gap between what Medicare covers and what must be paid for out of pocket.  Standardized Medigap supplemental insurance policies pay for a percentage of, and sometimes all, of the hospital deductible and doctor co-payment, which is not covered by Medicare.  These policies must conform to one of ten standard plans designed to provide a specific range of benefits.  Insurance agents are prohibited by law from selling your elder more than one Medigap policy.

If your elder plans on traveling outside of the area they’re covered in, that may mean outside of the state they live in, or the country.  If that’s the case you should arrange for automatic bill paying to make sure their policy doesn’t lapse.  Choosing supplemental health insurance or “MediGap” options include a range of alphabet-soup sources:

  • Medicare health maintenance organizations (HMOs), Medicare preferred provider organizations (PPOs), provider-sponsored organizations (PSOs) and independent practice associations (IPAs) with point of service (POS) options and private fee-for-service (FFS) plans.
  • Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) – under these plans, a Medicare beneficiary would choose a private insurance policy with a very high deductible to cover catastrophic health care expenses.  Medicare would pay the premium and make deposits into a savings account to fund payment of routine medical expenses.
  • Group coverage – insurance policies secured through employment, club memberships, fraternal and/or religious groups, workers’ unions or a local chamber of commerce.
  • Individual private coverage – these are co-insurance companies, which offer various coverages and payment plan options to the general public.

 

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