Medicare, Chronic Conditions Like Cancer or Diabetes, and You
Medicare and Chronic Illness
Chronic illness is more common than you might think. According to the National Council on Aging, nearly 95% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and nearly 80% have two or more.
While treatment for these conditions will vary, it can include a combination of doctor appointments, prescription medications, hospital visits when needed and anything else that helps you stay on top of the condition and its symptoms and complications.
Medicare Coverage Options
Ideally, your Original Medicare plan can help save you time and money while providing the care you need. However, individuals who live with chronic illness can have more health expenses than people who do not.
This means original Medicare might not cover all of your health-based bills (especially if you would like to pursue alternative medical care).
A Medicare Advantage plan may be a good choice for people who need more medical care for chronic conditions. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to access additional benefits that could help manage or even improve your chronic illness. A Medicare Advantage plan includes everything covered by Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage).
A Medicare Advantage plan is provided by private health insurance companies instead of the federal government. It tends to cover more than original Medicare, and this is why it may be beneficial for people with chronic conditions. Medicare Supplement, on the other hand, pays out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare.
Choosing A Medicare Advantage Plan
Keep in mind that to qualify for Medicare Advantage, you need to already be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). It’s also important to know that you cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan and Medicare Supplement insurance at the same time.
There are a lot of Medicare Advantage plans out there which can be overwhelming. As you research your options, take a look at your potential needs that may be better served by certain plans over others.
If your Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t cover prescription drug coverage, you can add a Medicare Part D plan. This will cover prescription drugs.
Finding A Medicare Advantage PlanMake sure Medicare Advantage plan is available in your area. Enter your ZIP code to explore plans near you.
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