At the age of 65, you are eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance program. Many people hit the age of 65 and are excited for their new health care coverage, however, they do not take the time to educate themselves on what Medicare does and does not cover.
When utilizing this federal health insurance program, it is just as important to understand what is not covered as it is to understand your coverage. You can prepare for uncovered costs by understanding what is not covered and what other options you may need. Alternative options to cover additional costs include Medicare health plans, long-term care insurance and pre-planning for the high cost of long-term care.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent. Our seniors need to be planning as necessary items such as extended home health care, dentures, hearing aids, cosmetic surgery and foot care are not covered through Medicare. The program also does not cover chiropractic care or any sort of acupuncture to assist discomfort. If you require routine chiropractic care or holistic treatments, Medicare will not cover the costs.
What are your options in getting the services you need, especially the long term care services you need, if Medicare will not pay for it? Right now, the National Center on Caregiving shares that “Annually 8,357,100 people receive support from the 5 main long-term care service; home health agencies (4,742,500), nursing homes (1,383,700), hospices (1,244,500), residential care communities (713,300) and adult day service centers (273,200).” Although families who did not have time to plan ahead can find help in Virginia, the key is early planning with your elder law attorney.
Does this article raise even more questions for you? We are here to answer them for you. Call us at (757) 645-2849 to schedule an appointment with Attorney Donna Wilson.