A blog about Medicare. What you and your employees need to know
Family- Helping Parents with Medicare?
Author: Lora Drummond
Medicare Transition Specialist
[15-52] Family – Helping Parents with Medicare
Do you have employees asking questions about Medicare to help a parent or other family member or friend who will be making decisions?
We have been delighted to have more than just Medicare eligibles at our live and virtual workshops. More and more adult children and caregivers are helping with Medicare decisions. So they have been attending our workshops to learn and understand how Medicare actually works. Education is the perfect place to start for anyone getting ready for Medicare.
It isn’t easy to navigate Medicare before you understand what it is! And how to maximize the benefits a beneficiary is entitled to. So… how do folks know where to start?
Here are some tips and a checklist to help guide you when preparing to help your parents or anyone you care about with Medicare decisions:
Begin with education. By attending a Medicare basics workshop like 123easy Medicare workshop, folks learn the basics of Medicare; what each part of Medicare means, when and how to enroll, benefit coverage options, what the costs are like, and more. When you attend a workshop, you can help the people important to you choose more easily because you understand the process and the options.
If you avoid this step, you risk missing out on learning how to find lesser known special needs plans, why a Medicare Advantage plan is not right for some folks, what insurance companies don’t want folks to know, and ways to lower drug costs. These are unique subjects Certified Medicare Planners® are trained to provide as standard guidance to the already no-cost plan selection process.
Medicare plans are for individuals. That means parents don’t have to be on the same Medicare plan; they can each select a plan based on their own needs. So gathering some specific important information from the people you will be helping will be necessary.
Before meeting with a Certified Medicare Planner®, we recommend obtaining the following (this list helps us look for cost-savings opportunities):
- Details about current medical and drug plans they have or will be leaving
- List of their medications, strengths, and how often they take them
- Names of doctors they see regularly
- Favorite pharmacy name and location
- Medical history details
- Dental care needs
- Vision care needs
- Free transportation support
Having your parents with you during the meeting is also beneficial, when possible. But we can accommodate guidance anywhere in the nation, thanks to technology. So if you are in one location and your parent is in another, we can create a virtual meeting space to gather. That way, together, you can ask questions essential to understanding the options available to select from. You all receive the same information to be able to discuss.
Your Certified Medicare Planner® will take time to get to know you and your parents. Because matching folks’ needs to what a plan has to offer is the most appropriate way to select a plan. TV ads and direct mail come from insurance companies and people who don’t know you but tell you what to buy.
Your Certified Medicare Planner® is your personal Medicare planner and fiduciary. Besides showing all the plans available in a particular area, a Certified Medicare Planner® will go over the premiums, deductibles, and prescription drug costs relative to each plan. They will also go over things that are not covered and provide suggestions for other coverage options you might not be familiar with like how Medicare works when your parents travel, free gym memberships, prescription cost-saving strategies,
If you are comfortable with the discussion, your Certified Medicare Planner® can help with the Medicare enrollment process too.
Power of Attorney
Depending on the level of help your family member or friend needs, we may need you to obtain and provide a healthcare power of attorney (POA) to complete an application for a plan. A POA document lets your parent name someone to make decisions on their behalf and is only necessary for paperwork you might need to sign and file for the person you are assisting at the meeting. A family attorney can help with this or there are documents available to download and complete online as long as your state rules and requirements are followed.
We are here for employees looking for resources to help their family members with understanding Medicare and making decisions.
Our Certified Medicare Planners® have more than 20 years of experience helping employees create Medicare transition plans BEFORE they need to enroll. We are ready to help!
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