Reviewing Your Aging Loved One’s Medicare Benefits

By Roz Jones

Medicare open enrollment is approaching fast with the enrollment period beginning on October 15th. As your loved one’s age, it’s important to review their Medicare benefits annually to make sure they’re still getting the best coverage possible. Here are some tips for Caregivers to consider when reviewing your aging loved one’s medicare benefits:

Understand the Benefits

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant). Medicare helps pay for doctor’s services, hospital care, home health visits, and other medical services. In addition to also covering some prescription drugs.

Your aging loved one may be eligible for Medicare if they:

  • Are 65 or older;
  • Have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for 2 years;
  • Are blind or disabled; or
  • Have End-Stage Renal Disease.

Check Your Loved One’s Enrollment

If your aging loved one is already enrolled in Medicare, you should be able to verify from the Social Security Administration. The first thing you should do is check their enrollment information to make sure it’s up-to-date. Ask them if they have their own Social Security card or other documents that show their Medicare enrollment like a statement of benefits or an annual notice about their coverage. If not, ask them to request an update online or by calling 1-(800) 772-1213.

Look at the plan options offered by Medicare during open enrollment and compare them with what your loved one currently has selected. Ensure they are getting the right level of benefits based on their age and health status. This will help you understand how changes might affect him or her financially (and how costly those changes may be). If he/she plans on switching plans this year anyway, now would also be a good time for him/her to pick out new glasses or contacts before they get older and harder to find in stores!

Check that they are getting the right amount of coverage at each stage of life so that there aren’t any gaps in coverage due to deductibles or co-pays in retirement years when medical costs are higher than before retirement age.

Review and Update Your Loved One’s Information

Also if there have been any changes, be sure to review and update your loved one’s information. Make sure their address, phone number, and other contact information are all up to date.

If you find that your loved one’s Medicare coverage needs have changed since the last time they filed claims and paid premiums on their own (or if they’ve never filed before), it’s important to review the benefits carefully so that there are no gaps in coverage. You can learn more about Medicare benefits, enrollment, and updates by visiting or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

I hope this assists you with understanding Medicare benefits and the enrollment process, but I know it can be confusing and overwhelming at times. If you have any questions or concerns about your aging loved one’s coverage, please don’t hesitate to visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

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Is your faith deteriorating while working in the role of a caregiver? Check out my latest podcast to listen to part 2 and find out how Dr. Herbert suggests Caregivers can restore their faith!

In this episode, we continue our conversation about caregivers in a health crisis with Dr. Herbert and we discuss our love for God, Why God, and Who is gonna help me, God.

Much of our love for God can lead us to take up caregiving roles, it may affect our physical well-being and this will have us questioning God on where He is.


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