Is it almost time for your parents to get on Medicare? You may be feeling overwhelmed by the thought of your parents getting enrolled into Medicare. This article will help you prioritize a few ways to help you and your parents get ready. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So, get ahead of the game with these five ways below!
Know How Medicare Works
Suppose your parents are navigating the tricky world of Medicare. In that case, it will help them significantly if they and you know how it works. Start with the basics of Medicare, such as:
- What is Medicare?
- What is Part A and Part B?
- What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
- What is a Medigap supplement?
- When is the Annual Enrollment Period?
Medicare companies like Boomer Benefits offer an array of Medicare resources and webinars that can help you learn Medicare quickly and easily. You can also visit Medicare.org to view their resources. Once you and your parents understand what Medicare is and how it works, it will be easier to decipher the types of coverage your parents would need. Also, be aware of all the requirements, terms, and deadlines. Make a note of important things that you might forget or want to keep handy when it comes time to enroll.
Know When You Can Make Changes in Coverage
If your parents don’t like their Medicare plan or coverage, there are specific periods where they could shop around. You need to know the timelines and rules when your parents can make changes.
If your parents would like to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, change from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare, or change Part D plans, they can do this during the Annual Election Period. The Annual Election Period is held from mid-October to early December every year.
There is also a particular season dedicated to dis-enrolling or switching back to Original Medicare from an Advantage plan. It begins January 1st and runs through mid-February. Even if you just signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you could drop it.
Many special enrollment periods give you additional opportunities to switch your coverage depending on life’s circumstances. Such as moving outside of a plan’s area, moving in or out of a nursing home, being new to Medicare, etc.
Determine Your Parents Needs
When it comes to healthcare, the healthcare needs each parent has will differ. Your parent’s needs will vary. For example, if your dad wants a Medicare Advantage plan and your mom needs a Medigap plan, you will need to shop for two different types of plans. Requirements will vary on the health conditions if they’re on prescription drugs. The choice of doctors, costs, and health will affect them in the long run. You’ll also need to make them think about the budget and what they can afford.
Look into Expert Help
There are Medicare companies that help when you are picking a plan, so you aren’t alone. You will want to be cautious when seeking expert help to receive unbiased service. Find a Medicare expert with multiple carriers, and that offers back-end support. Boomer Benefits has an array of carriers and offers to help you with your Medicare policies once purchased.
Don’t Overstep Your Boundaries
Once you’ve learned the basics of Medicare and helped your parents where they need to be helped, your job is done. If you’re overstepping your boundaries and convincing them they may need a specific plan that might not be good for them; you may need to reconsider.
Medicare can be very confusing at first. Once you dive into the basics of Medicare, the parts and plans, and the coverage change periods, you will have a better idea of it. Determine your parent’s needs and what type of coverage would benefit them. Looking into expert help when getting enrolled into plans can also be helpful. Don’t overstep your boundaries if your parents feel a bit stressed and things are getting to be too much. At the end of the day, you want to help them in a supportive manner.