Deciphering the Complexities of Medicare Insurance Options – By Guest Blogger Stephanie Goldstein, BSW, LBSW

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Years ago, once you turned 65, you applied and were granted your Medicare benefit. Some opted to pursue Medigap (supplemental) insurance to help cover the cost of items and services that Medicare didn’t cover. Medigap is optional and because of the monthly premiums many older adults went without supplemental coverage.

With the evolution of healthcare reform and people living longer, many things have changed. Medicare remains the primary insurance for those over 65, but with attempts to keep costs down, Medicare Advantage Plans have emerged. These plans are also known as “Managed Medicare Plans.”

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Approaching Tough Topics With An Older Loved One

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While many people consciously plan for having children, most do not consider that they may someday be “having” an elderly parent. Adult children of older loved ones often report being caught off guard by their older parents’ needs. Many families deny the changes taking place with their elderly parents, even when role reversal has clearly begun. Most people don’t recognize what normal aging really looks like so they have trouble distinguishing illnesses from the norm. It can also be hard to comprehend how much Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance won’t be paying for when significant help is needed for the senior.

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