While Medicare provides coverage for your inpatient medical needs, your outpatient medical needs, and your prescription drug needs, there are many other benefits offered by Medicare. Typically, beneficiaries may not be familiar with these additional benefits, as they are not heavily advertised. However, taking advantage of these benefits could save you time, money, and protect your health in the future.
Benefits of Medicare
Medicare Part A covers all inpatient hospital needs. This means that if there were ever a need for hospitalization, Part A would ensure that you have coverage for your stay, and other expenses related to the hospital visit.
Medicare Part B covers all outpatient needs. This means that if you need to go to the doctor for any reason, such as a check-up, sickness, or routine services, Medicare will cover the bulk of the cost of your visit.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. If you take any prescription drugs, or if you might need to take any prescription drugs in the future, you must have a Part D plan to receive coverage on your prescription drugs. Without it, you would pay hefty fees for your prescription medications.
These benefits are the basic benefits under Medicare, but there are so many more to discuss.
Mental Health and Addiction Benefits
Mental health is an increasingly important topic and one that should receive attention. As you age, it’s crucial to keep your mental health in check. This is why Medicare provides free depression screenings to ensure that you get the treatment that you need to stay mentally well.
Medicare also provides one free alcohol abuse screening per year for adults and can refer you to the correct resources if you are in need of alcohol counseling. Medicare also covers 80% of 8 visits for any illness caused by tobacco use. The program also provides tobacco cessation counseling as a preventative service.
Medicare offers a large variety of routine screening that you can use as preventative health services. Some of these routine screenings include an abnormal aortic aneurysm screening (you pay nothing if your doctor accepts assignment), a bone mass measurement screening (once every 24 months), cardiovascular disease screenings (once every 5 years), and more.
The use of these screenings ensure that you have as much knowledge as possible about your physical health, so you can make informed decisions about your treatment plans.
If your doctor determines that you might be at risk for diabetes, Medicare will cover a diabetes screening and some diabetic testing supplies. If this test determines if you have diabetes, you and your doctor will develop a treatment plan that works for you.
Because diabetes might be hard to manage alone, Medicare also covers outpatient diabetes self-management training. This training teaches you how to manage and cope with your diabetes. With these screenings and training, Medicare ensures you have everything that you need to take care of potential diabetes.
Medicare covers many preventative shots, including a once yearly flu shot, a Hepatitis B shot for those who are at a heightened risk for getting Hepatitis B, and a Pneumococcal shot to prevent certain infections such as pneumonia.
It’s important to get vaccinated when it will protect your health, especially as you age. Medicare makes this simple, quick, and painless.
Weight might be more of an issue for some than for others. If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more, Medicare provides free behavioral therapy sessions. These sessions are geared towards helping you lose weight. If you get this service through your doctor or any other primary care setting, you and your doctor can fit this counseling in with the rest of your routine health plan for a total and comprehensive treatment.
As you age, there can potentially be an increased risk for cancer. This increased risk of cancer is why Medicare provides coverage for several different cancer screenings. The types of cancer screenings covered includes yearly prostate cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, yearly breast cancer screenings, and cervical and vaginal cancer screenings.
Getting these checks each year is an important part of maintaining good health. It is essential that you catch these cancers early and take steps to ensure you stay healthy.
If a doctor does find cancer during one of your routine screenings, they might suggest chemotherapy as one of your treatment options. If you are receiving chemotherapy as a hospital outpatient, you will have to pay a copayment for the treatment. Medicare will pay 80% of the charges associated with the chemotherapy, and you will be responsible for the remaining 20%. If you are receiving this treatment as a hospital inpatient, you will have to pay the standard Medicare fees for all inpatient treatment.
In addition to all of the other preventative benefits, Medicare also covers one yearly wellness visit. During this visit, you and your doctor will create a personalized wellness plan based on your current health and your goals. It does not cover any additional tests. If your doctor requests any tests or physicals, you will have to pay a copayment for those services.
Advanced Care Planning
Although scary, it’s important to plan for a future that you might not be able to speak for yourself. In this event, Medicare offers Advanced Care Planning. This type of planning can be done during your yearly wellness visit and costs nothing out of pocket as long as your doctor accepts assignment. While this type of planning is completely voluntary, you never know when you would need to take advantage of its benefits. It’s better to plan ahead and be prepared.
In the event of a medical emergency or a doctor-ordered non-emergency, Medicare provides coverage for ground and air ambulance services. While Medicare covers these services, they will only pay 80% of the associated costs. You will be responsible for the remaining 20% of the charges associated with the ambulance transportation services.
With these routine, preventative, and essential services, you can be certain that Medicare will cover all of your medical needs. However, it is important to note that for the benefits that are not free, you will still be responsible for paying 20% of the fees related to the service. While Medicare does cover most of the expenses at 80%, the remaining costs can sometimes add up. This is where a Medicare supplement plan can come in handy.
Depending on the Medicare supplement plan you choose, the plan might cover 100% of the remaining expenses for your Medicare services. This means that you would not have to pay anything out of pocket for these Medicare preventative services. With Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan, you would have full coverage for any medical-related need you might have.
We Can Help
At GoMedigap, we can help you find the Medicare supplement plan that is right for you. By gathering a small amount of information, we can help you determine which plan is right for your needs, budget, and location. We can also help you find resources, so you are able to participate in all of the preventative and proactive services that Medicare offers as part of its benefits. If you are ready to take the next step, you can get your free Medicare supplement quote online, or contact one of our agents at (800) 310-2550 to get started.