The health care system is absorbing its most sweeping changes in decades. This will require adjustments, and heightened vigilance, for those approaching retirement or already in it. Older Americans, who grew up in an era when doctors’ judgments were unassailable, will increasingly need to act as their own advocates and overcome any reluctance to question providers about their care.
Those approaching 65 as well as those past that age should also expect changes in Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly. The program is more “siloed” than the traditional HMO or PPO coverage most people bought through their employers.
That means it is divided into parts:
- Medicare Part A covers hospitalization and home health care.
- Part B covers doctors’ visits and medical supplies and services.
- Part C covers Medicare Advantage plans, enhanced policies sold through private insurers.
- Part D covers prescription drugs.
As licensed professionals who will work with those approaching 65 as well as those past that age we need to be prepared to help our prospects choose a plan that will best meet their needs now and in the future.
These prospects will be most concerned about 6 specific areas:
- Recovery at home after a procedure.
- Not leaving a burden for their family (expenses that have to be paid).
- Not outliving their financial resources.
Helping our prospects understand the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans will be increasingly important.
Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare supplement plans.