You may have reached a phase of your life where you are the sandwich generation; raising your own children and helping your aging parents in their transition to the next phase of their lives. Two of the biggest decisions that people go through as they reach the age of 65 are whether to retire and when to start Medicare. Most people know that Medicare is our national health insurance program for seniors but many don’t know that it is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or that Medicare has four parts (A-D).
Your parents may be feeling overwhelmed about how to get started, what their options are and how much add-ons will cost. Adult children may be eager to help but may also not know where to
start. Luckily, there are many resources available that can help adult kids prepare their parents for the transition to Medicare. In the meantime, we discuss four helpful tips that can be used to help parents get the ball rolling so they will make the best decisions for the health insurance they will use in their retirement years.
4 Things Adult Kids Can Do to Help Their Parents Transition to Medicare
1. Start with the basics
Until you understand what Medicare offers seniors in all its parts, it will be difficult to help your parents with their options. You will be looking for answers to questions such as what is Medicare Part A, B, C and D? What do they cost and what choices are available for each option? What is original Medicare versus Medicare offered by private insurance companies? Click here to download the official U.S. government Medicare Handbook Medicare & You for answers to some basic questions.
2. Identify your parents’ needs
Once you have a basic understanding of the options, sit down with your parents and talk to them about their needs and their budget. Take notes so you can refer to them when you make a call to ask questions. Do they have a pre-existing health condition that requires expensive medication? In this example, your parents may decide to go with Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), but add a Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) through a private insurer in order to afford their prescription.
3. Contact an independent insurance agent
For those who decide that they would like to sign up for Medicare from a private insurance company, this is a great time to look for a local agent that is willing to answer all your questions. Ideally, you will find an agent that represents all the major Medicare Advantage and supplement plans so they can provide unbiased advice about which options are best for your parents’ needs.
4. Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information Form
Download and have your parents fill out the “Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information” form. This will be necessary if your parents would like you to call Medicare on their behalf. Click here to download the PDF.
Our independent insurance agents are dedicated to assisting people on Medicare and those who are ready to transition from employer coverage to personal retirement coverage. We help kupuna understand their benefits options and apply for additional coverage, as needed. Because we represent all the major Medicare Advantage and supplement plans in Hawaii, we are able to offer unbiased advice; all at no cost to our clients.
At PBC our clients are our number one priority and we look forward to getting to know you and your needs. Call us today at (808) 738-4500 to see how we may be of assistance.