Ways to Save Money When You’re 65 & Older
October 24, 2017 | Medicare & Insurance Education
One of our patients (who has traditional Medicare with no supplemental plan) spoke about her bad experience after receiving a large bill from a past primary care provider from a standard healthcare procedure. This bill made her extremely hesitant to go to the doctor to receive care. After learning about the benefits and cost sharing options of Medicare Advantage, she was looking to switch plans; “Why would I pay for a supplement if I could have a [Medicare] Advantage plan?” she said.
Many patients on Medicare express concerns to us about the costs associated with their care or may be living on a fixed income. There are numerous ways older adults may save money – either through their insurance plan or by searching for other resources. Here are some resources:
Why Medicare Advantage May Mean Savings
Did you know that one-third of all people enrolled in Medicare choose a Medicare Advantage plan in 2017? Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to be more comprehensive in what they offer to patients than traditional Medicare – this means that Medicare Advantage plans cover everything traditional Medicare does, with added benefits. While all Medicare Advantage plans are different and come with varied benefits, some benefits of Medicare Advantage compared to traditional Medicare that could save you money include**:
- Cost coverage for additional services such as eyeglasses, acupuncture, hearing aids, walkers, etc.
- Exercise membership or classes offered at no extra cost through your doctor’s office or insurance plan
- Prescription drug coverage instead of buying a part D plan
- Limit on out of pocket healthcare expenses which protects you if something unexpected happens (e.g., you end up in the hospital and need to have an expensive surgery). With Medicare Advantage, there is always a cap on the amount of money you’ll pay out of pocket for these services
- Knowing your costs for care upfront, so you don’t have any surprise bills show up in your mailbox
- Low cost/$0 premiums
**Please remember, it’s important to talk to a licensed insurance agent when evaluating your insurance needs, changes and plan options. Not all benefits listed above are included in every Medicare Advantage plan.
Some Additional Resources for Seniors Looking to Save Money
Once you turn 65, you are often able to take advantage of numerous savings programs. Some examples include:
- Discount programs:
- Restaurant discounts or specials
- Free coupons for retail/clothing stores
- Grocery store senior clubs and discounts
- Travel savings
- AARP has a great slideshow on senior savings
- See if you qualify for federal tax assistance from someone that can help you look at your finances
If you are on a fixed budget and have any questions or concerns about your healthcare or insurance costs, please consult your doctor’s office for more information. Their team can either provide you with the necessary resources, or point you in the right direction of someone to talk to about your needs. For other savings options, check out the links above.