What We Look for When Choosing Medicare Coverage for Mom - Sammy Makes Six

What We Look for When Choosing Medicare Coverage for Mom

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My mom is 82 years old and as she gets older, her health insurance coverage becomes even more important. Today, I have partnered with Anthem Blue Cross to talk about finding the right Medicare Advantage plan for my mom and what we look for when doing so. 

With prescriptions, visits to specialists and her regular doctor appointments, it's important that we find a plan that fits my mom’s budget. As is the case with many seniors, my mom lives on a very limited income. But while cost is very important when picking the right coverage for her, it's not the only thing we look at.

These are just some of the things we look for when choosing a new Medicare Advantage plan for my mom:

  • Premium costs
  • Prescription drug coverage 
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals in the area that treat her specific needs
  • Co-pays for: doctor visits, prescriptions, and hospital stays
  • Other support and wellness services

Even though my mom lives with us and has family around her, our entire household goes to school and work for most of the day. That means that my mom can get lonely and restless without having much to do other than cook, clean (she is an avid cleaner who will clean her room daily) and watch tv. We don’t have other family living close by, so it is rare for her to have any visitors. I can see how needy she is for conversation and something to keep her active and busy. And - I can see the importance of giving her brain something to do other than watch television.

But other than me taking a day off of work to take her to her doctors and grocery shop, her weekdays can get pretty lonely. Access to an adult day center that includes transportation to and from is definitely something that would benefit her quality of life and is something that I would love to have access to for her.

Access to the right doctors, specialists, and hospitals is also a top priority for us when picking a Medicare Advantage plan, especially because we live in a small town with limited choices. That has actually been one of the biggest struggles for us since coming to live in this area: finding doctors who can deal with her specific needs. Just like parents of young children like to find the perfect pediatrician for their little one, we strive to find my mom the right doctor to deal with her many health issues.  

And of course, we can't forget about costs when picking a Medicare Advantage plan for mom. There are actually so many that it can be confusing and overwhelming to sort through them: premium costs, doctor visit copays, prescription co-pays, and other miscellaneous out-of-pocket costs. 

We look at all those numbers, especially the copays which can sometimes outweigh the premium costs. Those are the everyday costs that will add up the most and we need to keep them as low as possible.

Anthem Blue Cross is committed to offering Medicare Advantage plans that provide high-quality  care to seniors while also addressing other social and support needs that can impact good health, which is important. In 2019, Anthem and its affiliated plans, like Anthem Blue Cross, are offering a new package of benefits that provides wellness services! Included are healthy food delivery, health-related transportation services, adult day center visits to help reduce loneliness, personal home helpers to help with daily activities at home and even pain management.

Getting my mom to eat a healthier diet is definitely a struggle for us. She still cooks the majority of her meals and forgets about all of her health issues when doing so. Healthy food delivery is something that would definitely improve her health, even if she still cooked most of her meals. But she definitely needs an influx of healthier options every now and again, and food delivery would allow her to rest more. This is something I will definitely be looking into closely for my mom.  

Anthem Blue Cross knows that one of the best ways to help people live healthier is to lower barriers and make it easier for individuals to access items that address everyday health needs. Giving people the option of services, such as delivered meals or time at an adult day center may make it easier for them to better manage chronic conditions, engage more with their community, or avoid preventable health-related incidents.

I think a lot of us tend to forget about taking advantage of all the things our insurance plans offer, I know that I do that with myself. I only go to the doctor when absolutely necessary and forget to find out what else my plan can do for me. But I try to be better about it when it comes to my mom and will, from now on, focus on it even more. 

If you’re currently caring for an older parent or other loved one, like I am, services like health-related transportation, healthy meal deliveries and access to an adult center are definite strong points when choosing a plan for them. I don’t usually get excited when it’s time to once again delve into Medicare Advantage Plans with mom, but knowing about the additional benefits offered by Anthem Blue Cross, has me excited for the future. 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Anthem Blue Cross, however all opinions are my own.