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How do I Lower the Cost of Medicare?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Although it may come as a surprise to those who’ve never been on Medicare or have recently enrolled, Medicare is not always free. Most people qualify for free Medicare Part A, which usually takes care of inpatient hospital costs, because they paid Medicare taxes when they were employed. However, those who didn’t work long enough or were self-employed typically have to pay a monthly premium for Part A. Those who want Part B, which covers outpatient expenses, usually have to pay for it, though it is optional. Either way, there are deductibles and co-pays, on top of premiums, that can make the cost of Medicare quite hefty; fortunately, there are some ways to lower those costs.

Many people find it difficult to keep up with the costs of prescription drugs, which aren’t covered by Part A and B. Medicare Part D, which is optional, does provide some help with prescriptions, but subscribers are still responsible for co-payments and co-insurance on prescription drugs. One way to lower the cost of Medicare is to switch to generic forms of prescription medications or even purchase over-the-counter medications, when possible. Medicare subscribers may also look for national, state, and community assistance programs that help subscribers to handle the cost of Medicare. Low-income subscribers can also contact the Social Security Administration for help.

Another way to help lower the cost of Medicare is to choose the right options. For example, some people buy into a Medicare Advantage plan referred to as Medicare Part C. This type of plan often pays for services not covered by the original Medicare plan and may offer lower deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments. These plans will cost extra money, but that extra cost may balance itself out when compared to the overall amount of savings they provide. On the other hand, they often limit which doctors subscribers can see for care.

It’s important to understand that all Medicare Advantage plans are not equal. For example, some help to pay for prescriptions while others don’t provide this coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers, and Medicare recipients should carefully compare them in order to choose the plan that offers the most benefits and lowers the cost of Medicare most. Many people opt for Advantage plans offered by health maintenance organizations (HMOs) since they tend to offer lower out-of-pocket expenses and more affordable premiums.

Besides prescription assistance and Medicare Advantage plans, a person can carefully consider the basic Medicare options and choose those that best suit his needs and financial situation. For example, choosing Medicare option D may help some people while others may do well to choose less expensive drugs instead.

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anon97283
Post 1

how can you state that Part A is free if you draw social security and then must pay $110.50 a month from your social security check?

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