Medicaremedicaid Savings

Saving Money or Medicaid/Medicare

At this point, thank heaven, my income is high enough that I do not qualify for Medicaid. My mother did and it simply “took over” and paid everything that Medicare and her Blue Cross Plan 65 did not cover.

Mama’s prescriptions alone ran almost $1000 a month. For the last 8 years of her 88 years she was in a nursing facility. Medicaid also paid what her small Social Security checks did not.

To qualify for Medicare, you basically have to own nothing of value. My mother had to sell her home. She was allowed to put “X” amount of dollars into a funeral fund. This helped a great deal eventually since it gained in value at better interest rates than most banks pay. If you need to qualify for Medicaid, ask about this.

After the home was sold Mama had to pay for her care until her bank account went below a certain amount. With nursing home costs at around $4000-$5000 or more a month, it didn’t even take a year.

Medicare also paid for all real prescription items (the main reason she had no money left).

She only had about $50.00 a month to spend on “extras” after her Social Security account had been charged. She did have the couple-thousand allowable to keep and spend.

The nursing facility provided much of what she actually needed, including food, rent and utilities-which take up about 95% of actual living expenses. Later, items like clothing, skin lotions and other things were not covered, but family could gift her these with no problem for birthdays, Christmas, etc.

Medicare is something that at age 65 you get whether you want it or not. It becomes your prime insurance. And you need to read that massive volume you get to know what is and isn’t covered.

Some things are not covered that formerly were covered under my private insurance plan-oral surgery, for one. I also have a supplementary policy so the office costs will be covered, but probably not the surgery itself (I’m still waiting to find out.). Major Medical covered it before; Medicare does not, and although I have a dental rider on my supplementary insurance, the surgeon’s office thought not.

Saving money on Medicare is in reading that big book. I’m diabetic and Medicare does cover all supplies I need. This not only includes a glucose monitor, but also the horribly expensive testing strips. Mine run about $110 or more per 100…and I need to use 3 to 6 each day.

You must have a doctor’s prescription in order to get the Medicare benefit, but doctors readily will give them on request.

Since diabetes is my own problem, this is the one way I know that Medicare has already given mega-benefits during the time I’ve been on it. My payments for Medicare (I have plan B so I do pay) also are cheaper than my old insurance-even after I factor in the supplementary plan that pays for most of what Medicare does not, and of course the Plan D now required for prescriptions.

There probably are other health problems where Medicare offers extra help or even (as with diabetes) full coverage. Again, read that book or ask your pharmacist.

Both Medicaid and Medicare mean more paperwork than private insurance ever did. I asked about keeping just Medicare and my old insurance. Because of my age my old private insurance would have gone up $200 a month the minute I turned 65 – and still would have been secondary to Medicare. At my age, it already was too expensive even if it paid well when it was my only insurance.

If you qualify for Medicaid (see your area’s SRS office), you can save a lot of money. Even if you only have Medicare, do real the manual, ask both your doctor and your pharmacist about whatever your health issues concern. There are ways, perhaps not to save out-front, but I know that I’ve receive almost $1000 in free test strips so far. And I’m not yet 66.