Don’t Fall for these Medicare Myths
The importance of health insurance should never be understated, especially as a person advances in age. As we get older, life becomes more difficult, and while government programs may help you with some of the associated costs, it’s very likely that someone signing up for the first time will need additional coverage.
Medicare and Medicaid are beneficial to thousands if not millions of people across the country, and while you’ll likely need additional coverage to supplement your government-provided plan, these programs are essential to many. Despite their popularity, however, there are many misconceptions floating around blurring the public image of what these programs really provide. So before we start answering the more pressing questions, it’s important to understand what Medicaid actually is.
What is Medicaid?
Through the combined support of state and federal government, Medicaid supplies financial assistance to soften the blow of medical costs. Only those with limited income are eligible for the program, but Medicaid provides coverage that Medicare doesn’t. Nursing home care and personal care services are both covered by Medicaid but aren’t included in Medicare, for instance. Each state has slightly different rules and stipulations, so be sure to contact your local Medicaid branch for more information on how your own state’s program may differ.
Eligibility differs from state to state as well, and even if your income is too high to receive benefits, you may be able to cut down on medical costs by taking advantage of the “spend down” process, a process that allows hopeful applicants to subtract their medical costs from their income to more accurately represent their financial disadvantage. Call your branch today for more information, and give us a call or click for more info on affordable health insurance plans to supplement your coverage.
Misconceptions and Clarifications
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s take a close look at the challenges and grey areas faced by a hypothetical 65 year old woman. She just became eligible for Medicare and wants to enroll, but before she can, she’ll need to answer a few medical questions – an inconvenience that could’ve been avoided. How? By taking advantage of the 6-month grace period.
If you’ve just become eligible for Medicare and you have prior group coverage, you have six full months to enroll in Medicare without being asked any medical questions that could further complicate the process. Those hoping to enroll will need to answer these questions truthfully, and certain answers could stop your application from ever reaching the carrier. Surprisingly, carriers are completely within their legal rights to refuse applications outright.
A hopeful enrollee of Medicare may not want to answer these medical questions, but unfortunately, the window of opportunity has passed for our hypothetical client. Six months after you become eligible for Medicare, the grace period ends and you’ll be asked to answer medical questions, so if you’ve just become eligible for Medicare or will soon become eligible, call your local branch for more information on applying and taking full advantage of the many benefits offered by Medicare.
Not eligible for Medicare at all, or looking for something to supplement your current coverage? Give us a call or click today for everything you need to know about buying health insurance in California.