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Navigating the System: When You’re a Senior (65+)
- Hospital insurance (Part A): a service that helps pay for inpatient hospital care, care in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, and some home health and hospice care
- Medical insurance (Part B): a service requiring a monthly premium that helps pay for doctors’ services and some other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A
- Medicare Advantage (Part C): a service requiring a monthly premium that provides more choices and extra benefits than Part A and Part B
- Prescription drug coverage (Part D): a service requiring a monthly premium that helps pay for prescribed medications
- Annual physical exams
- Cardiovascular screening
- Tests for breast, cervical, vaginal, colorectal, and prostate cancers
- Flu, pneumonia, and Hepatitis B shots (for individuals at risk)
- Bone mass measurements for those at risk for osteoporosis
- Diabetes screening and self-management
- Glaucoma testing
Supplemental Health Insurance
- Medicare provides a comprehensive online guide to choosing a Medigap policy. Section 4, “Steps to Buying a Medigap Policy,” provides worksheets to help you figure out which type you need, as well as how to find out which insurance companies offer policies in your state and how to contact and compare them.
- Or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to speak with a Medicare customer service representative.
Health Services for Seniors
- Home healthcare—Home healthcare is an alternative to hospitalization or nursing home care for patients who do not need around-the-clock supervision. Additional information can be obtained from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America.
- State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Programs (SHIP)—SHIP programs have counselors in every state who provide free one-on-one help for Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare question or problems.
- Services for caregivers— The National Family Caregiver Support Program provides information and assistance about services that complement the care given by the caregiver (usually a spouse). These supplemental services include home modifications, equipment and supplies, and transportation. In addition, there are support groups available for caregivers.
- Support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families—Many communities have day care programs, as well as family support groups, physical and speech therapy, nutrition counseling, and home care services.
Administration on Aging http://www.aoa.gov
Medicare Helpful Contacts Medicare http://www.medicare.gov
Healthy Alberta http://www.healthyalberta.com
Insurance Canada http://www.insurance-canada.ca
2014 choosing a Medigap policy: a guide to health insurance for people with medicare. Medicare website. Available at: http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/02110.pdf. Updated February 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
Drug coverage (Part D). Medicare website. Available at: http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/index.html. Accessed July 23, 2014.
Medicare. Social Security Administration website. Available at: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10043.html. Updated July 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
Medigap: Your supplemental insurance. AARP website. Available at: http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-01-2011/understanding%5Fmedicare%5Fmedigap.html. Published January 1, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2014.
Your Medicare coverage choices. Medicare website. Available at: http://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/decide-how-to-get-medicare/your-medicare-coverage-choices.html. Accessed July 23, 2014. How is Medicare funded? Medicare website. Available at: http://www.medicare.gov/about-us/how-medicare-is-funded/medicare-funding.html. Accessed July 25, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2014
- Update Date: 00/72/2014