As a senior, you don't want to make endless trips to the drugstore, fight with insurance companies over the phone or spend time fretting over what services your Medicare plan does or doesn't cover. Your time is valuable.
In the last few years, Medicare Advantage plans have added some attractive perks to keep you in good health and save you time. These include services such as transportation to and from doctor appointments and even free gym memberships.
The health care landscape is changing in the United States. Instead of the "anything from the neck down" Medicare plans of yesteryear, today's Medicare Advantage plans may include prescription drugs, dental care, hearing services and vision benefits, including eyeglasses.
Sometimes the benefits available are more about convenience than care, but they can be invaluable if you struggle with leaving the house. Some providers are offering seniors free over-the-counter (OTC) benefits — a value of up to $80 quarterly — where seniors can order supplies they would normally buy at a drugstore. These include items such as:
- Pain management items
- Cold, cough and allergy medications
- Oral care, including toothpaste, floss and denture cleaner
- Stomach remedies
- Vitamins and supplements
- First aid supplies
- Incontinence supplies
- Therapeutic skin care
- Leg and foot care
- Home medical supplies, such as blood pressure monitors
Some Medicare Advantage plans have added a focus on settling back into your home after surgery or a long hospital stay. If you are finally home and don't feel like cooking for yourself, your plan covers one week's worth of free, well-balanced frozen meals.
What do these extra perks cost?
Depending on the provider, they are free. These benefits would be available to you for no additional monthly premium beyond what you would normally pay for Part B. This is one of the best parts of Medicare Advantage plans. They are a low- to no-cost benefit that focuses on providing you with perks that will save you time and money and give you peace of mind.
Medicare.gov lists answers to some questions you may have, such as:
- How do I find out if I'm eligible for Medicare Advantage?
- How does my provider network play into my coverage?
- How can I check if there will be yearly deductibles or additional co-pays?
How to switch
If you'd like to switch to Medicare Advantage, the process may seem daunting. But help is available. You can hire an insurance marketing company to switch your Medicare plan before open enrollment ends Dec. 7.
Bridlewood Insurance Services is a top-rated independent insurance marketing agency that specializes in Medicaid-related insurance products. Bridlewood Insurance works with some of the nation's biggest health insurance providers —United Healthcare, Humana, Scan and Blue Shield — to help seniors get the care they need and take full advantage of the benefits available to them.
Call Bridlewood Insurance at 858-753-7000 or visit online at www.bridlewoodinsurance.com. Bridlewood's agents can help you see which plan and provider are the best financial fit for the services you need.