Medicare and Social Security: How Social Programs Can Help You Help Your Elderly Parent

Medicare and social security are two nationwide programs designed specifically to provide financial relief to elderly Americans. However, not all elderly people are equipped with the information they need in order to take full advantage of these programs. With a little bit of research, you may discover that you can help your aging parent to get more support from the Social Security and Medicare programs. This at-a-glance guide to both will help you to recognize if your parent is getting all of the support that they are eligible for.

Social Security Basics
Social security provides monthly benefit checks to senior citizens. It is possible to begin receiving checks as early as age sixty-two, but many people wait until they are sixty-five years of age to apply for social security benefits. If your elderly parent hasn’t applied for social security, it is a great idea to go through the process with them, including the meeting with a social security representative. By staying in step with your parent when financial decisions need to be made, you will be sure that you end up with a situation that is advantageous for both of you.

Medicare Basics
Medicare is health insurance provided by the U.S. Government for people over the age of sixty-five. There are two types of Medicare known as Part A, and Part B. Part A is provided for free by the Federal Government to any citizen who has worked for at least ten years It covers basic hospital expenses. Part B is available at a cost of roughly sixty dollars each month, and covers a wider range of medical goods and services.

What The Medicare Parts Cover
Although Part A will help offset the cost of an emergency back surgery, only Part B will cover the cost of the back brace that the patient wears home from the hospital. Medicare A doesn’t cover anything that takes place outside of a hospital, with the sole exception of a few supplies for patients with diabetes. Medicare B covers slightly more, but there are still gaps. Prescription drugs, and routine care like eye exams and dental work, are not covered by any form of Medicare.

Joining Medicare
At age sixty five, anyone who is receiving social security benefits is automatically enrolled in the Medicare A program which provides basic hospital insurance. If your parent doesn’t receive social security benefits, they won’t automatically join the Medicare program, so it is crucial to ensure that they have signed up. You can even guide your elderly parent through the application process from the comfort of your own home using the forms online at the U.S. Government’s website.

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