Health Beyond Numbers
It’s no secret that anti-diabetic drugs and diabetic supplies can add up in cost, leading to various financial stressors. Thus, as part of your comprehensive diabetes prevention program, having insurance is important.
But what type of insurance is best? In this article, we take a closer look at the best medicare plan for diabetics, including AARP Medicare plans from UnitedHealthcare and more. How can you make the best financial decision when it comes to your health?
Avoiding Medicare Plans that Don't Work For You
Selecting the right Medicare plan is a crucial decision that significantly impacts your healthcare and financial well-being. It's critical to approach this process with careful consideration, especially for individuals managing conditions like diabetes. Choosing wisely involves assessing your specific healthcare needs, prescription requirements, and preferred healthcare providers. A bad Medicare plan can lead to gaps in coverage, unexpected out-of-pocket costs, and limited access to essential services. Take the time to thoroughly review plan options, compare coverage details, and anticipate potential healthcare needs
Medicare Approved Insurance Plans
Insurance can be confusing, not to mention stressful—especially when it comes to selecting the right plan. When choosing your plan, it’s important to take into account your specific situation and needs. Not everyone needs the same plan, nor are everyone’s needs the same. So, let’s take a closer look.
1. The Basics of Your Medicare Plan
Medicare is a federal health insurance plan offered to those 65 years and older, younger persons with disabilities and individuals with end-stage kidney disease. Generally, Part A of this plan is paid through contributions from your taxes; this means no monthly premium is necessary.
However, Part A only covers hospitalizations, such as in-patient treatment for diabetes or diabetic complications. Individuals with diabetes often also require Part B and Part D. Yet, this may depend on your particular situation.
Do you know the connection between diabetes and your immune system? Read on to learn about each and how they coincide.
Medicare Part B helps cover diabetes prevention and associated care. This may be more pertinent to those with pre-diabetes, but also those diagnosed with diabetes, as it includes (to a certain extent):
- Self-management training.
- Glucose test strips.
- A glucometer.
- Foot examinations (which can be helpful for diabetic peripheral neuropathy complications).
- Insulin pumps.
- Nutritional advice.
- Shoe inserts.
- Medical equipment (such as a walker, bed or wheelchair).
- Home health care.
- Preventative and wellness exams.
Meanwhile, Part D includes coverage for:
- Anti-diabetic drugs.
- Diabetic supplies (like syringes, gauze, needles, etc.).
- Inhaled insulin devices.
Part D will often cover prescription costs, but not necessarily all of them. As per other insurances, the remainder after your allowance must come out of pocket or be complimented by other insurances (more on this below).
2. The Medicare Advantage Plan
This is technically Part C of Medicare coverage. These types of insurance plans are Medicare-approved plans from private companies, which are also approved by the federal government. For these plans, certain policies must be followed, and you can often get “bundle” options, which can supply you with your preferred coverage.
It’s important to note that some of these (or parts of these) plans may require a monthly premium payment. Often called “Medigap,” some of the best options include:
- AARP Medicare Plans with UnitedHealthCare: Offered in 49 states, this plan allows you to get a personalized list of recommended coverage options, such as those pertinent to diabetics.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield: This includes both Part A and B, as well as Part C options for Medicare. This one is offered in 47 states. It also has additional benefits for dental, vision, hearing, lifestyle and transportation.
- Humana: This is very similar to Blue Cross Blue Shield, as it also includes Parts A, B and C, along with additional benefits. However, it’s offered in 50 states.
- Anthem: Only offered in 14 states, this plan also incorporates Parts A, B and C.
Considering many of these plans are location-dependent, your choices may first be narrowed down based on your state of residence. It’s very important to assess your needs closely, as well, and make an informed option based on the costs you may incur due to your current health status.
You’ll also want to note general deadlines. For instance, plans often automatically renew. Yet, if you want to make a change to your plan, this usually is required to be done between December and January. The dates may also depend on the part of the plan you want to change.
For example, Anthem offers an opportunity to make changes to your Medicare Advantage Part D plan from October 15th to December 7th.
If you missed the previous year’s initial enrollment for Medicare, you can sign up for Part A and Part B any time between January 1 and March 31; coverage then starts the month after your enrollment. Late enrollment penalties may also incur an additional 10% per year charge.
For Part C, enrollment must be done after you’ve applied for enrollment in Part A and B. However, enrollment for Part C must be completed before coverage for Part B starts (Yes, this can be a bit confusing, and we encourage you to always check deadlines directly with your individual Part C provider.).
Again, assess your needs as a diabetic. Determine what you’ll need each year and make choices regarding your plan from there while considering certain deadlines to ensure you meet them and don’t miss out.