7 Things to Ask About Your Aging Parents about Medicare
We all want to make sure our aging parents are protected and happy during their retirement. That includes maximizing their social security dollars and getting Medicare coverage that’s suitable for their lifestyle. How much do you know about your parent’s Medicare coverage? You can ensure your parents are getting the benefits they deserve by asking them some key questions.
What to Ask Your Aging Parents about Medicare
1. Do you know what Medicare is?
Start with the basics. If you’re parents know about Medicare, you can start finding out if they know when they want to apply and if they know how. If they aren’t too familiar with Medicare, it’s okay. Although healthcare organizations market Medicare information, it’s not thoroughly covered by the government.
So, to help your parents navigate Medicare, you should become familiar with how it works and what’s involved. Luckily, we can help! Refer to this blog post that breaks down the A, B, C’s (and even D’s) of Medicare: What is Medicare
2. When do you plan on retiring?
Medicare benefits revolve around when you plan to retire. The full retirement age is 66, but some choose to claim their benefits before then.
We cover this topic in our blog post: Am I eligible for Medicare? Feel free to share this with your parents to walk them through their Medicare eligibility.
3. Do you know when to apply?
There are several times throughout the year when certain people may be eligible to apply for Medicare:
- Initial Coverage Period: 3 months before your parent’s 65th birthday + their 65th birthday month + 3 months after their birthday month
- Annual Election Period: October 15 – December 7
- General Enrollment Period: January 1 – March 31
Learn about each enrollment period with our Medicare Enrollment Timeline.
4. What coverage are you getting?
If your senior parents are already receiving their Medicare benefits, find out about their coverage and where they’re getting it from.
5. Do you need additional coverage?
It’s common for Medicare beneficiaries to experience “gaps” in their Original Medicare coverage. Since Original Medicare only covers hospital and doctor care, many are left to wonder: “What about my other needs?”. Thankfully, options are available.
- If your parents need prescription drug coverage, they’ll need Medicare Part D.
- If your parent is lacking in coverage due to certain gaps, you should learn about Medicare Supplement plans.
- If your parents are looking for different coverage options, consider a Medicare Advantage Plan (or Medicare Part C). Skip to question 7 to learn more.
6. Are you happy with your current plan?
Quality of life is key, so keep tabs on how satisfied they are with their healthcare. If you’re finding they want different coverage or would like to save more money, you have some options. You can make changes to your plan or switch plans during Medicare Open Enrollment (aka Annual Enrollment Period or AEP), which takes place each year from October 15 -December 7.
Interested in changing your Medicare plan? Team up with AGA Medicare Options for a free benefits review.
7. Have you considered a Medicare Advantage plan?
Your parents aren’t constricted just to Original Medicare benefits. If they’re enrolled in Medicare Part A, they may consider a Medicare Advantage plan to receive more benefits. Some plans include dental, vision and hearing aids. Most plans include prescription drug coverage. If not, you can apply for Medicare Part D in addition to your Part C plan.
We Offer More Medicare Options
AGA Medicare Options is the largest Medicare-focused agency on the West Coast. Let us match you and your parents with an agent that’s knowledgeable in Medicare. They’ll be able to educate you on many Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plan options instead of just one or two—that way your parents are sure to decide on a Medicare plan that’s suitable for their needs and fixed monthly income.