Medicare is the chief source of insurance in the United States for adults age 65 and older. With medical debt also climbing in this age group, it is natural to wonder what problems are seniors facing with Medicare? The answers might surprise you.
Many seniors don’t realize that Medicare won’t cover all of their health care costs. They are shocked to learn that the first day of a hospital stay can cost them a co-pay of nearly $1000 USD. Seniors are also often unaware that Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term or permanent nursing home placement. The answer to this problem is for seniors to make sure they have any additional insurance they might need. It’s a wise move to get a Medicare supplement, sometimes called a MediGap, insurance plan. Most financial planners also encourage people to purchase long-term care insurance, to cover the cost of nursing home care if it becomes necessary.
When asking what problems seniors are facing with Medicare, the Medicare Advantage plan should spring to mind instantly. Medicare Advantage are administered through private health insurance companies like Humana or Coventry Advantra. These plans are often HMO’s or PPO’s. Seniors tend to be drawn to these plans because they cover the cost of some prescription medications. What they do not realize is that they must see a doctor who is in the plan’s network in order for their bills to be paid. Many seniors also don’t understand that the co-pays for Advantage plans are entirely their responsibility. Supplemental insurance won’t help those on a Medicare Advantage plan.
As it stands now, Medicare is a highly complex health insurance system. Many of the people who have Medicare don’t quite understand its benefits or its limitations. What problems are seniors facing with Medicare, you ask? The main answer is a lack of understanding.