Medicare is a federally funded health care program that most seniors rely on to cover the costs associated with health care services. Understanding the rules and procedures of the Medicare program, however, can be frustrating for seniors. Now there is an app that can help. An Indianapolis elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft explains how the Medicare app can help you.
Introducing the Medicare App
For most of us, the older we are, the more we spend on health care. Whether it starts at 55 or 85, the natural aging process catches up to us all eventually and we begin to show signs of physical and mental deterioration. Consequently, we spend more time and money on doctor and hospital visits, prescription medications, and medical equipment and supplies. The question, however, often becomes whether Medicare will cover the cost. When was the last time you received a bill informing you that Medicare did not pay for a significant portion of a doctor visit or procedure? Chances are it was not long ago. Until fairly recently, Medicare recipients were at the mercy of their doctor to give them an accurate estimate of their share of costs or they could sit on hold forever waiting to get someone on the phone at Medicare to help. Medicare, however, has entered the electronic age with a “What’s covered? app that can be downloaded for free from both the App Store and Google Play.
The Medicare app can help you find out if an item or a service is covered by Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) and provide you with an estimate of the costs involved. Search or browse to learn how and when to get covered benefits as well as to find a list of covered preventive services.
The app can provide you with answers to questions such as:
- When are mammograms covered?
- Are specialists or home health care covered?
- Will Medicare pay for crutches, walkers, or diabetes testing supplies?
- Will my Medicare benefits cover a service to help me stop smoking?
- Can I get a regular cervical cancer screening?
- How often will my Medicare coverage allow me to get a bone mass measurement?
What the Medicare App Can Do for You
Did you know that Medicare covers a number of preventative services at no cost to you? Screenings for cancer and other diseases, behavior therapy, and rehabilitation services are frequently available at no charge to Medicare recipients. If you want to find out of a preventative service is covered, just check on the app.
Knowing you have health insurance is great; however, that doesn’t always mean you pay nothing for doctor visits, hospital stays, or prescription drugs. The Medicare app lets you check ahead of time to get an idea what your copayment and/or coinsurance will be for a covered item or service. You can also check to see if your deductible applies to a service or item and how much of that deductible you have paid to date. There are also some items and services that require you to meet eligibility criteria for the item or service to be covered. If you don’t meet the criteria, you may be responsible for paying all costs. For example, your doctor may recommend that you get services or tests done more often than Medicare covers, or a healthcare provide may recommend services that Medicare doesn’t cover at all. If you are counting on Medicare to cover the costs because your healthcare provided recommended the service/item, you could end up paying the entire bill. Using the Medicare app to check ahead of time can prevent you from incurring a large, unexpected, bill. The app will answer questions such as:
- How much will I pay for prescription drugs included in Medicare Part B coverage?
- Does the Part B deductible apply for cardiac rehabilitation?
- What percentage of the Medicare-approved amount will I need to pay for colorectal cancer screenings?
Contact an Indianapolis Elder Law Attorney
For more information, please download our FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns about elder law issues contact an experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorney at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.