Archive for September, 2017
How to enroll for Medicare
Medicare was first introduced in 1966 to provide health insurance for seniors. People over the age of 65 can enroll during the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment between October 15 to December 7. Their insurance coverage will begin from January 1. Sometimes people are signed up automatically when the
Preventative Health Care is one of the most important services for people over 65, and one of the best tools offered by Medicare. This is, at least in part, to help offset the extreme frequency with which Americans suffer from chronic conditions: According to the Commonwealth Fund, 87% of older Americans live with a chronic health condition, with 68% reporting at least two or more.
Preventative Health Services and Screening help to catch these ailments in their infancy in order to reduce their effect and eventual cost, both to the person suffering from the disease and on the Medicare system at large, and ease the burden of managing health care expenses.
In the first post in this four-part series, we discussed how Medicare Plan B health insurance covers all the costs associated with most of the more common preventative screenings and services, from diabetes to depression. In this second installment, we will be talking specifically about the types of preventative services that are recommended for men over 65.
Most men should be well verse with colonoscopy exams and other colorectal screening exams by the time they enroll in Medicare, as the starting age should be at the latest 50, these tests become increasingly important as you age. That is because a 70-year-old is almost three times as likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than a 50-year-old. While these exams have been the subject of sitcom jokes for decades, they remain the best way to identify precancerous polyps or early stages of cancer.
Like colorectal exams, the prostate exams should begin well before you have reach Medicare aid, but here, the increased risk as you age is even greater. Between age 50 and 70, the chance of getting prostate cancer in the next ten years more than triples! There are a number of different ways to check for prostate cancer, including prostate specific antigen blood tests and digital rectal exams. Depending on the result of the first two tests, there may need to be a follow up screening.
While these two screening services are specifically more applicable for men, they should also engage in the more general types of screening. In our next installment we will discuss the tests specifically relevant for women.
No matter who you are, cancer is a difficult experience. Whether you are struggling with it yourself, or a loved one has recently been diagnosed, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the deluge of information and advice that will come at you from all sides.
If you or your loved one is also reliant on Medicare, the process can be even more complicated. In the first two posts in this series, we talked about using Medicare to help finance you or your loved one’s fight against cancer (post one talked about original Medicare, post two focused on parts C and D).
In this final installment, we will discuss how both cancer care insurance and Medicare supplement insurance plans might help you.
Supplimental Insurance Plans (or Medigap)
Medigap can be a life saver for anyone living on a budget when diagnosed with cancer. While the premiums can be high, ranging from $100-$200, they offer you a lot more flexibility and tools to fight off your cancer.
Typically, they allow a much broader selection of medical facilities, instead of the small net that a Medicare Advance plan will offer. They also allow you to remain on your original Medicare A and B plan which can offer perks like better-regulated coverage.
Plan F is the most all-encompassing program currently offered. Even if the cost of the medicine is not covered by Part A or Part B, Plan F will cover them so long as they are Medicare approved.
It is important to note that Medigap policies will only cover one person. If you and your spouse want the same benefits, then you must enroll twice according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Cancer Care Insurance
While cancer car insurance is a newer form of insurance, it is specifically targeted to help reduce the astronomical costs associated with cancer treatment. These programs are slowly growing more and more popular as new statistics emerge that show as many as one-in-four men and one-in-five women die from cancer in the United States.
Unlike Medicare options, cancer care insurance also provides assistance with non-medical financial needs while you are undergoing treatment. These can range from child care to dietary support, and even assist you with housing and travel if you live far enough from your treatment center.
The main drawback to this type of insurance is that you would typically need to be enrolled before your diagnosis.
Cancer is by far the worst plague for the modern American. If you or a loved one suffer from this disease, it is important that you know your options. As we come to the close of this three-part series, hopefully, you are a little better equipped to handle your ailment.