While it is certainly true that not everyone with Fibromyalgia (FMS) is unable to work, many are. Those who are unable to work are eligible for disability. It is not easy to "win your case". (That terminology alone infuriates me--as if anyone who is disabled is "winning" anything!) However, once you have proven your case, you will be eligible for Medicare. Of course, as with all things in health care, Medicare comes with its own set of complications, its own form of confusion, and its own unique mazes. Guest Blogger, Sharon Wagner, asked to share info on that topic. ~Meshea Crysup
Medicare and You:
a guest post by Sharon Wagner
Medicare is hugely beneficial to seniors; Parts A and B can help cover everything from hospital stays to doctor visits, which enable older adults to stay healthy, vital, and active. However, many aspects of Medicare are confusing and complicated, even to those who have had access to it for a while, especially if they’ve worked for the same employer for many years and have never had to make decisions about their healthcare before. Annual changes can lead to issues with doctors and copayments, and Parts A and B -- which are the most common policies after retirement -- often don’t cover prescription medication, vision care, or dental care. Finding the funds to pay for those services can be a hardship for many seniors, but thinking about making changes to a policy they don’t understand can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are many resources available to seniors and their families or caregivers to help ease the confusion. Looking online to find out more about your Medicare coverage can help you understand how to make the most of your policy and when to make changes, which is important since Medicare has deadlines and sign-up dates that, if missed, will lead to penalties.
Here are a few of the best tips on how to understand your Medicare plan.
Get to know the verbiage
One of the most confusing things about any insurance policy is the wording; figuring out what the terms mean can be time-consuming and frustrating. But there are many resources online these days that can help you understand the wording used in Medicare policies. Not only will these terms tell you what your copayment is and how to avoid a “coverage gap”, they’ll also help you figure out how to choose the best policy for your needs.
Understand the deadlines
Medicare has many deadlines and dates that seniors must adhere to, and these can be a bit confusing to follow and keep track of. Getting to know when the deadlines are and how to fill out the correct forms will allow you to stay on top of any changes and prevent costly penalties. For three months before and after your 65th birthday, you can sign up for Medicare Parts A and B -- keeping in mind that Part B requires a monthly copayment. If you miss those dates, you can wait until January for an open enrollment period, but you may be required to pay a late fee. If you qualify for disability insurance, you are already qualified to receive Medicare without an age requirement.
Find out about your doctor’s policies
You may be required to choose from certain doctors who are in-network with your Medicare policy, so it’s very important that you find out about their particular services and what your policy will cover. Keep communication open with your healthcare provider to make sure their office still accepts your plan if you make any changes to it, as well.
Get to know your options
Medicare Parts A and B are the most popular forms of coverage, in part because Part A is automatically offered to seniors of a certain age. However, there are several other options that can help you pay for prescription medication or services other plans won’t cover, such as dental work. Keeping in mind that maintaining your physical health has many different aspects, you may want to look for an Advantage Plan that will help you pay for everything you need.
Medicare can be tricky to understand, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or frustrating. With some research, you can find as much information as you need to make the best choices for your health, which will allow you to remain healthy and active for years to come.
Photo via Pixabay by Silviarita
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