Here’s what to look out for in Medicare
Take advantage of these 5 Medicare benefits next year.
From underutilized benefits to new offerings, Jay Kolb, Medicare sales manager at Geisinger Health Plan, weighs in on the top five benefits to look for — and use.
1. Benefit card for prescriptions
With many Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage plans, you’ll get a monthly card to use toward over-the-counter purchases. These cards can total up to $300 per year, are given either monthly or quarterly (depending on your plan) and can be used on everyday items like:
- Approved vitamins
“The cards don’t roll over into the next year,” says Kolb, “so make time to get to your local pharmacy and buy the items you need before the benefit expires.”
If you’re looking for other prescription benefits, Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 options for Tier 1 and 2 generic prescription drugs.
2. Flex card
Imagine what you could do with a $500 flex spending card, like the one offered by Geisinger Gold. It can make a huge impact on your healthcare.
“This is available for one of our Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage plans this year and is a great benefit that members should take advantage of if they have it,” says Kolb. “It can be used to help pay for dental, vision and hearing devices.”
3. Dental and vision benefits
Taking care of your teeth and your vision is just as important now as it was when you were a kid.
Many Medicare Advantage plans make it easy with dental benefits that include up to a $650 annual dental allowance on covered procedures — with no up-front payments. These come with most plans and need to be used in the allotted time. They also don’t roll over, so you’ll need to use them within the year.
And remember to use your flex card to help pay for dental, vision and hearing services.
4. Lower out-of-pocket costs
Some plans have caps on hospitalization copays, which mean you’ll spend less out of pocket if you go to the hospital. Another plan offers a small, per-stay copay that covers all hospital fees during your admittance, so you won’t have to worry about added costs per day.
“If you have one of these plans, these caps lower the max you’ll pay before your insurance kicks in annually, if you have multiple stays,” says Kolb. “And they cover any admission copays at the hospital so you can get the care you need when you need it, without worrying about the cost.”
Geisinger Gold members also save on getting care in other ways, including:
- Access to a network of 29,000 doctors and 100+ hospitals
- Low copays for all your primary care physician visits
5. Part B buyback
Some Gold Medicare Advantage plan members will have a Part B buyback, depending on their plan. Through this, you’ll get money back in your social security checks — just for having a Medicare Advantage Part B plan.
“This isn’t something you need to use,” says Kolb. “It’s just a part of your plan and you’ll automatically benefit from it when you sign up.”
If you want to learn more about these Medicare Advantage benefits and more, contact your local Geisinger Gold representative today at 800-918-5154 (TTY: 711).
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