Having had a mother who was ill most of my childhood, I have grown up believing you get the health care you demand in this country. Did you know that 80% of the caregiving in this country is provided by families? And – since families are really the front line of health care, it’s important for all of us to be as well informed as is humanly possible. If you’ve got older parents, chances are you’ll be one of their best resources as they negotiate the healthcare system.
What do you do? #1 – Get familiar with the various Medicare plans, deadlines, and other health coverage they might have.
#2 – Assess your parents’ overall health. Are they active or chronically ill. Travel frequently or are they homebodies? Do they take regular medications? Does their doctor accept Medicare? Are they in and out of the hospital frequently? The answers to these questions will help you choose the best Medicare options for them.
#3 –Determine your parents’ resources? Everyone over 65 must sign up for Medicare, but it also has co-pays and deductibles. Do they have other coverage a former employer? Do they have resources available if something unexpected happens? Can they afford extra insurance – there are plans to cover the gaps and there are ways to compare them.
Time is the one thing none of us have enough of – and this process DOES take time. But if time is also money, then chances are you’ll save quite a bit of it by doing your homework before crisis hits. Not long ago, I taped a show for RLTV on Medicare and we shared a ton of great resources that can be helpful. You’ll find them HERE.