How Medicare Helps Senior Citizens
Every day thousands of people enroll in Medicare. This government-backed medical insurance program helps millions every year to cover some or all of their medical expenses and is continuously growing. Just a decade ago, nearly 15 percent of the U.S. population — approximately 44 million people — were covered under the program. The number has grown to over 57 million people or about 18 percent of the U.S. population. It’s understandable why so many people take advantage of Medicare coverage — Medicare offers a variety of benefits for seniors who qualify. But it’s important to understand the essentials that the coverage providers and how to find Medicare providers to take care of their issues. Here are a few aspects to consider.
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a medical insurance program provided by the federal government for American citizens and other qualifying U.S. residents who are over the age of 65. The Social Security Administration funds the program under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) — the 1.45 percent that taxpayers pay out of their total annual wages. The plan also covers those with disabilities, too. There are different parts to Medicare, including Medicare Parts A, B, C (Medicare Advantage) and D plans. These plans cover different parts of medical expenses. For example, Medicare Part A primarily covers hospitalization costs, while Medicare Part B covers preventative services, such as glaucoma screening and diabetes testing. Medicare Part B also takes care of outpatient costs, such as doctors visits, physical therapy, and medically necessary equipment. Medicare Part D offers prescription coverage. Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) is an alternative to Medicare Part A and B plans except that it expands coverage and is provided through private insurance companies. Medicare coverage also can be supplemented with Medigap insurance for aspects not covered by Medicare Part A and B, such as copayments or deductibles.
The Advantages of Medicare
Having a Medicare plan offers several advantages. The primary benefit of these federally backed insurance plans is that they often cover a substantial amount of medical expenses for the elderly population. Seniors who take advantage of these plans also can leverage preventative care services and keep up to date on annual doctor visits. This is an especially important as Medicare policyholders get older. The body naturally deteriorates as it ages, and an annual doctor visit can provide policyholders with a chance to discover ailments that may not be visible or that trained medical professionals can easily spot. Medicare patients can also leverage coordinated care, including the help of caseworkers in some instances, to manage care. Another advantage is that there are several medical facilities and providers that take Medicare coverage.
Understanding Medicare Coverage
It’s important to understand that Medicare covers most costs but not every medical expense. That’s why some individuals opt for additional coverage called Medigap policies. Keep in mind that Medigap policies do not pay out if the patient already has an existing Medicare Advantage plan. Moreover, there may be restrictions how many types of prescriptions drugs covered. For example, Medicare plans often provide more coverage to generic prescriptions drugs over brand drugs. That means that patients who opt for a brand drug may pay more out-of-pocket costs to cover the expense. Thus, it’s vital for Medicare policyholders to gain a thorough understanding of the plan they have.
Finding a Medicare Provider in San Antonio
Finding a provider who accepts Medicare insurance is simple when you use the right tool and put best practices in place. Patients should start finding a Medicare provider by checking with their insurance provider. Keep in mind that calling to verify the doctor still accepts the insurance is also ideal, as doctors drop and add insurance plans frequently. Also, consider using the Physician Compare tool on the official Medicare. Gov website to search for Medicare providers. This tool is provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and patients can use it to find the Medicare-accepting doctors and medical professionals they need based on location, group, specialty, condition, and body part. For example, patients can search for a Medicare providers in San Antonio by searching by location. It’s also a good idea to research the doctor that’s being considered. Check out reviews, verify if the medical professional is board-certified, and watch out for any red flags, such as disciplinary action or malpractice suits. These conditions may play an important role in whether or not the patient experience is enhanced or hampered.
Get Healthy With Gonzaba Medical Group
Whether searching for a primary care doctor in San Antonio who accepts Medicare or a professional staff who understands the essentials of Medicare, it’s important to find a team that is reliable. San Antonio is home to Medicare providers who have the expertise and experience with working with Medicare, such as Gonzaba Medical Group. The Gonzaba Medical Group helps patients get the medical care they need and has eight offices in the San Antonio area that accept Medicare and other Gonzaba insurance policies. Contact the Gonzaba Medical Group to schedule an appointment today and take care of getting and staying healthy now.