How Medicare Helps with Preparedness Among Older Adults

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With nearly 3.5 million adults above the age of 65 living in the state, Texas houses one of the United States’ largest populations of older individuals. These populations face a high risk of contracting chronic diseases, with 25% suffering from diabetes, 18.4% affected by heart disease, 12% having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 28.5% going through some kind of cancer. The risks drive up spending on medical expenses, reducing the finances older adults can set aside in case of an emergency.

Enter: Medicare

Fortunately, adults above the age of 65 can enroll in Medicare, which is a cost-effective health insurance plan sponsored by the federal government. Medicare comes in four parts: Medicare Part A, which covers hospital fees; Medicare Part B, which covers medical fees like equipment and doctor’s visits; and Medicare Part D that covers prescription drugs. Adults can also enroll in Medicare Part C, a Medicare package offered by private insurers that offers Medicare Parts A, B, and C.

As Medicare helps cut down medical expenses, it lets older adults set aside more money for emergency funds and bolsters their financial preparedness for other emergencies. So, let’s discuss the many ways Medicare can help older adults with preparedness.

Medicare helps with emergencies

With Medicare, health emergencies are one less unexpected risk older adults need to set aside money for. The medical insurance included in Medicare Part B also includes emergency services. Under Medicare Part B, patients with injuries or sudden illnesses will only need to pay a deductible, a small copayment fee, and 20% of their doctor’s service charge, effectively minimizing out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare can minimize medical spending

Among the ‘5 Frugal Habits That May End Up Costing More Money’ that we touched on in our article, putting off medical visits might be the worst thing seniors can do. When health goes unprotected, especially amongst aging adults, conditions usually get worse, which results in costlier medical expenses. Medicare coverage includes preventive services that reduce the risk of major health problems or emergencies.

In particular, Medicare Part B includes free yearly wellness visits. Here, primary care physicians use patients’ medical and family history to screen potential health risks. After assessing their vulnerability to certain diseases, providers then give their patients a personalized preventive plan for avoiding disease and disability.

Medicare Advantage can reduce extra expenses

The bundled Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurers can also come with extra benefits packages, such as dental, vision, and hearing coverage. This allows older adults to save money while taking care of other aspects of their health.

And according to Medicare Houston, Medicare Advantage could even include transportation to medical facilities. Individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can contact their providers to schedule free rides to their doctor’s appointments. This could help save money on gas or fees associated with commutes. For adults who find it more difficult to drive as they age, free transportation hosted by Medicare providers could also reduce the risk of getting into a car accident.

Medicare providers follow emergency preparedness requirements

Thanks to the rules established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare providers are required to follow certain standards when it comes to disaster preparedness. With these rules in place, Medicare providers are expected to build emergency plans that ensure their facilities are prepared to handle any sort of emergency or disaster, be it natural or man made.

These rules also require Medicare providers to develop policies that ensure every person within their facility is accounted for during a crisis event, be it their on-duty staff, patients, or clients. Facilities are required to have reliable methods of communication available during emergencies. Lastly, employees in Medicare facilities must be trained in emergency procedures, patient management, and evacuation routes. They are required to regularly conduct emergency drills under the emergency preparedness officials within their area. These rules ensure that whenever a patient enters a Medicare facility, all employees are equipped to handle unexpected disasters.

Thanks to the cost-savings strategies provided by Medicare plans, the money older adults save on medical expenses can be used to pad their emergency funds, giving them added financial security in the event of a crisis. The coverage included in Medicare plans, such as dental coverage and preventive care, could also reduce the risks of emergencies entirely.

For more preparedness tips, check out our blog at Apartment Prepper.

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  1. “nearly 3.5 billion adults above the age of 65 living in the state, Texas houses one of the United States’ largest populations of older individuals.”

    I didn’t know Texas was beyond India and china..
    Very informative.

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