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Live Life On Your Own Terms

It’s time for another close look at your Medicare coverage.

medicare enrollment edit2If it's mid-October, that must mean it’s once again time for Medicare Open Enrollment. So between now and when Open Enrollment ends December 7, it’s worth going over to learn about new or improved benefits taking effect January 1, 2021.

Save hundreds of dollars a year on insulin. Starting with the New Year, you can join a participating Part D Senior Savings Model plan and take advantage of significant senior savings on insulin. For many types of insulin, copays will be capped at $35 for a 30-day supply. The Center for Medicare Services estimates that can add up to $446 in yearly out-of-pocket savings.

ESRD patients can enjoy Medicare Advantage Plans’ advantages. Last year, enrollment in Advantage Plans grew by 9%, bringing the total to 36% of all Medicare beneficiaries. I’ve written before about the extra benefits that Advantage Plans offer at no extra cost. Unfortunately these plans weren’t open to seniors with End Stage Renal Disease. As of January 1, 2021, they will be.

 

More convenience and comfort with Telehealth. Originally, telehealth services were available only to Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas. But thanks to COVID, Many Advantage Plans expanded this coverage to suburb- and city-dwellers as well. Staring with the New Year, Original Medicare will too – for e-visits with your primary care doctor, nurse practitioners, physical/occupational/speech therapists, licensed clinical social workers and psychologists, and medical specialists. It will also cover monthly ESRD visits for home dialysis, as well as online diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of stroke symptoms.

Acupuncture for low back pain. If you’re suffering from chronic low back pain, unfortunately you’re not alone. Over 80% of Americans will experience low back pain at some time in their lives, and it’s the second most common cause of disability in US adults. Starting next year, Medicare will cover up to 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for chronic low back pain not caused by cancer, inflammatory or infectious diseases or associated with surgery. If improvement results, eight more sessions are covered.

Knowing about your Medicare benefits and making full use of them is one step towards a happier New Year. A holistic coordinated care plan – integrating your needs as determined by our thorough three-part assessment; your different doctors and their approaches to your health needs; your schedule; and your hobbies, interests, activities and social life – is another. To learn more about the difference holistic senior care can make, please contact us for a consultation.