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Are All of Your Bases Covered? 4 Tips to Avoiding Costly Errors!

Recently, a colleague shared with me several articles comparing healthcare to baseball. All of the journalists used metaphors to draw the parallels between America’s game and our modern healthcare system.

They wrote about the importance of teamwork, keeping your eye on the ball / goal, and how a small hiccup can cause a different outcome in administering health care / playing a baseball game. There was even a story of one Governor comparing baseball to healthcare!

All of these sports metaphors got me thinking…. How do I help my clients cover all of their bases?

 

1st Base: Medicare Supplement Coverage

First and foremost, the most important thing you can do to ensure your healthcare costs don’t reach the nosebleeds is to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. As I’m sure you know, Medicare A and B (also known as Original Medicare only, or OMO) can leave you exposed to unlimited out of pocket medical costs.

Many people falsely believe there is a stop-gap or limit to Medicare bills, and that is unfortunately not correct.

That is why Medicare Supplement plans exist: to cover the gaps in Original Medicare’s coverage. (They are also called MediGap plans for obvious reasons) Check out all of the out of pocket costs you’re responsible for under Medicare — which are covered if you have a Supplement plan!

In other words, without a Medicare Supplement plan, you’d be responsible for paying all of those expenses. I don’t know about you, but I surely don’t have those funds lying around!

Another great thing about Medicare Supplement plans is their provider network…. Rather, their lack of a network! Medicare supplement plans allow you to visit any Medicare doctor in the nation! You can also see specialists without needing a referral from a Primary Care doctor, saving you time and hassle.

 

2nd Base: Cancer Protection Coverage

Your Medicare Supplement plan covers your medical costs, hospitalization, and doctor visits. But what about other non-healthcare costs that you could face?

Unfortunately, ⅓ of all adults in the USA will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. Some people will have to endure more than one bout. We all know someone who has fought cancer with all their might. The chemo, the associated illnesses, the loss of appetite…

Cancer is no fun. Of course, anyone fighting it wants to see the best doctors in the country. But sometimes, costs prohibit us from getting the best medical teams available.

Luckily, Medicare Supplement plans cover world-renowned cancer centers like MD Anderson in Texas. But what about other non-medical costs you could face if MD Anderson isn’t located around the corner from you?

A friend of mine spent nearly a year in and out of MD Anderson, and after several years in remission, still travels back to Texas from Nevada every few months for ongoing testing. During her initial treatment, she was lucky enough to have her children by her side.

But the bills quickly began to add up.

The medical bills were expected. What she did not expect were all of the non-healthcare related costs: airline tickets, hotel rooms, meals at restaurants, rental cards, and the hundreds of other little things you need when you’re not in the comfort of your own home.

As the treatment took its toll, she needed to buy new clothes that could fit her now slimmer figure and a new diet plan to boost her immune system.

None of this comes cheap!

When she was first diagnosed, she’d budgeted some costs, but did not think of some of the smaller things — which quickly add up to bigger bills.

Her adult children were quickly learning the importance of preparing for their own life’s “what ifs” and purchased cancer protection policies.

Cancer protection plans can be used to pay for all of the miscellaneous expenses you could face when dealing with a critical illness. Many of my clients get very small policies — less than $20/month — to have peace of mind if they ever face The Big C.

Unfortunately, some of my clients have had to use their policies. Fortunately, the funds from the policy allowed them to obtain treatment while keeping their quality of life as unchanged as possible.

One of my clients could not be happier when he saw how much how $13/month cancer protection policy benefited him. “It was well worth the peace of mind, knowing I had extra coverage! Cancer runs in my family and I appreciate being able to plan ahead.”

 

3rd Base: Drug Coverage

Did you know that many seniors’ biggest healthcare expense is their drugs? Medicare laws do not allow drug coverage under Supplement plans, so it’s important to protect your pockets with a Part D drug plan.

Also called PDPs, prescription drug plans help lower – or eliminate – costs for medications. Some common drugs, like ones used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure, are as low as just a few bucks!

Part D plans categorize drugs into “tiers” and each tier has an associated co-pay. Tier I drugs, typically generics, cost much less than Tier III drugs, typically name-brands. Some Part D plans will even mail you your prescriptions for lower cost and more convenience!

With more than 800 available plans, it’s important to study the game plan / list of benefits before enrolling. When selecting a Part D plan, it’s important to work with an Agent who offers several options. Premium price isn’t the only factor you should consider when getting quotes!

 

Home Plate: DVH Coverage

To complete the full coverage deck, enroll in a Dental, Vision, Hearing plan. Surprisingly, Medicare plans do not cover teeth, ears, and eyes. DVH plans can help pay for the costs of hearing aids and repairs, glasses or contacts, and dental procedures.

It’s important to find a plan with increasing benefits (the longer you’re enrolled, the better the plan gets) and one that does not have long wait periods.

Some dental plans offer an open network, allowing you to visit the provider of your choice. DVH plans are affordable and pay off in the long run!

 

Become the Medicare MVP!

When it comes to getting the best health care while protecting your wallet, get the Grand Slam! Don’t strike out — you could pay for it, literally and figuratively, in the end if you don’t have comprehensive coverage.

The majority of Americans who file for bankruptcy have to do so because of medical expenses — and most of those folks had basic insurance coverage! That’s why it’s important to cover all of your bases by enrolling in cancer protection, Part D, and DVH plans – along with your Medicare Supplement – to avoid any wild pitches life may throw your way.

With all of these types of coverage in place, you’ll be the MVP! Don’t strike out — call today and tell me you want the Grand Slam of coverage!

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