According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total national health expenditure in the United States was $3 trillion in 2014. With the cost of health care is steadily rising, families that can’t afford such increases are feeling the financial strain. When it comes to Medicare, out-of-pocket costs can quickly add up if you’re not prepared.
Let’s look at a few costs to watch considering a Medicare health plan.
Is Your Annual Checkup ‘Free’?
Once you have Medicare Part B, you receive a preventive care doctor’s visit and an annual wellness checkup at no cost during the first 12 months.
Be sure to take advantage of this visit. Not only is it a great opportunity to meet with your doctor at no cost, but preventative care screenings have been shown to decrease the overall cost of treatment for many individuals.
Preventive Services Could Equal Extra Costs
Medicare covers a large percentage of preventive care screenings with no extra cost to you, and preventative screenings can detect ailments before they become more serious (and more costly).
While you may end up paying certain costs if a screening test finds something untoward that requires further tests, additional coverage can protect you in the event that this happens.
It’s important to make sure that your coverage includes services beyond the minimum covered by Original Medicare. This can help save you substantial expenses in the long run.
Long Term Care
Your coverage lasts for up to 100 days in a nursing home after a three-day stay in a hospital; however, if you require more than 100 days of care in the nursing home, you’ll be responsible for all costs – unless you have the necessary coverage beyond what Medicare provides.
If you have a condition that may require you to stay in a nursing home at any point, it’s important to prepare appropriately with the right coverage; doing so will prevent you from finding a stack of bills at the end of your stay!
Smaller Network Could Equal Bigger Bills
Certain plans can reduce your network of providers. You may have to receive treatment “out of network,” which means you’ll pay more – and possibly all – of the cost. Finding the plan that includes your doctors is an important step to cutting your medical expenses. Medicare Solutions’ Licensed Agents can help you find a plan that includes your primary care provider, as well as any specialists you may regularly see.
What Medicare Doesn’t Cover
Original Medicare doesn’t cover certain services, such as:
- Dental care
- Cosmetic surgery
- Eye exams and eyeglasses
- Hearing exams and hearing aids
If you currently require any of the above services or believe you will need them in the near future, you have two easy options: purchase ancillary insurance for these specific services, or select a Medigap plan, which encompasses these needs.
It’s crucial for you to take stock of your health prior to the purchase of any Medicare plan. If you choose insufficient coverage and suddenly become ill, out-of-pocket costs can quickly increase.