Present 2020 brought about so much, and we are just half-way on it. As the spread of COVID-19 continues to create chaos that affects every aspect of life. From workplaces to school closings to investment portfolio credits, several Medicare enrollees have one core focus: protection of health by preventing the virus.
Every year, people turn 65 daily. Usually, they get retirement in a systematic and pre-planned way, and everyone is prepared on their levels. But now? Yes, we see the usual turning-65 crowd with their retirement plans on hold, but also witnessing a new crowd of people displaced due to job layoffs, downsizing, furloughs, and more. And, apart from that, there are crowds affected by this Covid-19 who are just tired, distressed, frustrated, and fearful.
Thus, Most of them will require some assistance with Medicare. However, those who are already on Medicare tend to suffer critical health consequences if stricken with COVID-19, as the CDC explicitly states that the chances are highest for people over 60. Seniors must understand what covers Medicare offers regarding this global health crisis.
PROCEED AS YOU PLANNED
If you were already planning to retire in this summer before this COVID-19 crises happened, just keep on pace. Although, a lot of people that are retiring now are above the age of 60, and they have been enrolled into Medicare’s Part A coverage for a few years. Signing up for Medicare can be complicated in NORMAL times but this COVID-19 situation has created additional challenges for them.
ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICARE
Generally, Medicare is available to certain citizens and residents who have reached or crossed the age of 65. Medicare has multiple components: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), and Part D (prescription drugs), or a person can sign up for Medicare Part C, which integrate Parts A, B, and in certain scenarios D.
A person is eligible for premium-free Part A if he is at the age of 65 or older, and the person itself or his spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. A person can also get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if he is receiving retirement benefits from Social Security.
A person is also eligible to get premium-free Part A coverage if he is under age 65, and have been entitled to Social Security benefits for 24 months. If a person did not pay Medicare taxes while he worked, and you are at the age of 65 or older. He might be able to buy Part A coverage.
UNDERSTAND WHAT COVERS COBRA AND MEDICARE PROVIDES – OR DON’T
Some new retirees did not plan retirement at all, and they don’t want to avoid the current situation. The person who has crossed his 60 years of age, is facing suddenly retirement in current days, and now requires health insurance for this adverse condition. This is when many people make the mistake of enrolling into Cobra insurance coverage without consulting a professional that how Medicare interacts with Cobra.
Now the question is what is Cobra? Cobra is health insurance coverage that your employer provides for an extended timeline after you retire. It usually lasts for 18 months. Generally, a person in this situation, who is looking for a new job, will decide to get enrollment into the Cobra insurance coverage without understanding the effects that this decision will buy when they are over age 65.
For a person over that age, enrolled into Cobra coverage, Medicare becomes the primary payer for medical claims. Unfortunately, that person won’t be enrolled into Medicare which technically means they have no primary insurance cover. The biggest issue with Cobra is that it looks, seems, and works in the way “old employer’s coverage” does so the person retains it until they get some job with benefits.
Medicare alarms people in these crises to not fluctuate between Medicare health insurance coverage and employer health insurance. Medicare is not a “temporary” coverage. Well, it can be used in that what too, but you can experience major issues trying to do it.
The biggest change to Medicare is that it will provide full coverage for testing and any service leading up to the COVID 19 test. Those enrolled in Medicare will have to pay nothing out of their pocket. These services generally involve the remote examination by a doctor or on-call before the recommendation for testing.
The Medicare subscriber will also get priority allocation in line under being over 65. They will also get covered for the cost of COVID-19 treatment, including hospitalization. As of now while there’s no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19, if one becomes available, it will be also covered under all Medicare drug plans.
RECONSIDER YOUR MEDICARE ENROLLMENT DECISIONS
If you are suddenly jumped to retirement without pre-planning it. You may turn to make rather harried and quick decisions about health insurance coverage that you might regret in future.
it’s much more rewarding and beneficial to slow down and take a few dedicated hours on learning about your new health insurance options, policies and guidelines.
If you just go and grab the easiest and cheapest policy out there without cross-checking its consequences, you may suffer some of the longer-term Medicare mistakes and regret that many people make. Taking the proper time to understand the two product that you may take beyond Original Medicare can be a lifesaver. Find a good consoler that can explain how this entire system and policies works.
ROUTINE AND REMOTE MEDICAL CARE
One of the most dangerous effects of COVID-19 is its capability to spread even when carriers are shows no symptoms. As such, seniors citizens today need to practice social distancing, staying away from crowds so that germs can be avoided. Seniors are advised to delay all non-essential medical appointments at this particular time when the crisis is at a peak, since going to a doctor’s office not only boost the risk of interacting with someone who is infected with COVID-19 but getting germs exposure in general.
Fortunately, Medicare already has a formulated system in place that allows senior citizens to interact with medical providers from the comfortable environment and safety of the home through its telehealth services. Although is not an updated thing for accommodation COVID-19 concerns; it’s been around for many years. The senior citizen who wants to keep themselves checked without actually going into a medical office can get a virtual medical check by phone or video chat, which will be covered by Medicare. And those who are concerned that they may get infected with COVID-19 can discuss their symptoms and receive instant advice remotely on what to do.
FINANCIAL RELIEF FOR ENROLLEES IN NEED
Senior Citizen who is already hospitalized because of COVID-19 could face high deductibles and coinsurance, depending on the timeline for which they require care. That said, there’s talk of waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment to remove hindrance to care among those most vulnerable to severe health effects.
Medicare is also talking about extending access to its telehealth services to make it easy for stressed seniors to review their health conditions with health workers remotely. And it may also start waiving restrictions on prescription refills – A major step that could allow more senior citizens to stock up on the medicines they need for better self-isolation. Meanwhile, seniors are told to ask their providers to change on month prescriptions to three-month supplies when applicable.
It’s obvious for senior citizens in specific to be concerned about COVID-19, but the good news is that Medicare is taking further steps to make this situation easier. At the same time, enrollees should check up on the benefits they’re entitled to so that if concerned symptoms show up, they’re already backed with knowledge.
MEDICARE APPLICATION DELAYS PATIENCE AND PRE-PLANNING NEEDED
As of this article, Social Security acknowledges that the pandemic has greatly increased telephone hold times, but the department claims the average has now longed to 45 minutes. Employees usually work remotely and have been able to continue to deal with the public. Before the pandemic, wait times averaged 20 minutes. Social Security also allows clients to leave their number for a representative to call them back.