| Why Millennials Need to Know More About Medicare

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MILLENNIALS NEED TO KNOW MEDICARE

It is important that Millennials are educated about Medicare. Their parents are a part of a large aging generation that is going to face difficulties. Medicare has benefits to support a high quality of life for your loved ones as they age. Read on to learn more about what you can do to help.

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If someone asked you to compare Medicare supplement plans right now, could you? If no, you’re not alone. Not many can and this is a growing issue not just with Medicare supplement plans, but with Medicare in general. If it does not apply to you now, why bother.

Medicare has been in the news lately as a political concern. The subject has been a topic of debate about cost and need, leaving the future of Medicare in the unknown. The Millennial generation has been brought into this conversation and even though the need for Medicare is decades away for Millennials, they still need to be concerned. However, this concern has nothing to do with themselves, but with their parents.

Medicare provides basic health care to one out of six Americans, most of them being age 65 and older. Millennials, born between 1982 and 2000, are the largest generation just recently surpassing the Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, otherwise known as, their parents.

This is why Millennials need to know about Medicare. While Millennials will not need Medicare for decades, their parents need it soon, if not now. Millennials need to know about Medicare in order to care for and advise their aging parents.

This brings us back to if someone asked you to compare Medicare supplement plans, could you? Are you prepared to help your parent or parents when the time comes?

The Baby Boomer Generation is Aging

The Baby Boomer generation is aging. In fact, the aging of the Baby Boomer generation could mean a 75 percent increase in the number of Americans ages 65 and older requiring nursing home care. This increase would mean that about 2.3 million people would be eligible for Medicare and need nursing home care by 2030. Compare this to the 1.3 million people eligible in 2010, and you can understand the significance of this growth. 

In all, reports have shown that the number of Americans ages 65 and older is on course to reach over 98 million by 2060. This increase would mean that the share of the total population will rise nearly 24%. With that said, the Baby Boomer generation is living longer than previous generations, has on average higher levels of education and more work experience. This bodes well for the future of this generation.

However, it is indisputable. The Baby Boomer generation is aging and with it, potential problem areas are coming in to focus. Obesity rates among older adults have been rising. Americans living with Alzheimer's disease could triple from 5 million in 2013 to 14 million in 2050. This increases the demand for elder care and the need for nursing home slots. 

This is why Medicare is important. Medicare provides our aging parents and family members with options, security, and peace of mind. Medicare has meant a lot for previous aging generations and it will for the future ones as well.

Why Medicare is Important

The federally funded health insurance program for people who are age 65 and older, by ensuring access to care has contributed to a life expectancy that is five years higher than when the program first went into effect. Developments and adjustments made to Medicare have also paved the way for evolutions in which pharmaceuticals are offered, nursing home care coverage is presented, healthcare provider’s standard of care, and payment models that are available to patients in private care.

Medicare has reduced barriers to medical care for America’s most vulnerable citizens and has improved the quality of life for many. Today, Medicare can in fact play a major role in your loved one’s well-being and benefit their lives in a multitude of ways.

Health Benefits

Medicare is first and foremost a healthcare program. It is meant to give individuals who are ages 65 and older access to affordable healthcare to improve their overall health and ultimately, their quality of life. As previously stated, the aging Baby Boomer generation is facing rising obesity rates. Obesity puts people at risk of chronic disease and disability. In addition, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is also expected to rise over the years. This only emphasizes the need for reliable healthcare. Medicare can cover inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Medicare can also cover certain doctor’s services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventative services. All of this is determined by which Medicare plan and Medicare supplement plans you choose. This is why it is important to compare Medicare plans and compare Medicare supplement plans to find the best fit for you.

Financial Benefits

Medicare also has financial implications. Medicare is a federal government program that provides healthcare coverage for those ages 65 and older. The program is funded by Social Security and Medicare taxes you pay on your income, in part through premiums that people with Medicare pay, and in part by the federal budget. This results in more affordable healthcare for your loved ones in their later years. Think about it. If you have retired and are not working, you are not receiving health care benefits from your employer. This means that all healthcare costs would need to come out of pocket or through a private healthcare insurance provider. Both of those options are expensive. This is a major benefit of Medicare. While with Medicare you will still owe a monthly premium, it will be lower than the alternatives, and your loved ones 65 and older will be able to save their social security check, retirement fund, and pension for things other than necessary treatment and procedures. Those funds can go towards food, housing, vacations, and trips to see family. This is just another way Medicare can improve your family’s quality of life.

Security and Peace of Mind

Health and financial benefits add up. These also seriously contribute to your parent or family’s security and peace of mind. With a cancer diagnosis, joint replacement, heart attack, or mental decline, the last thing you want to worry about it how you are going to pay for it. Medicare provides your loved one with that peace of mind. While there may be a cost, it will be significantly lower than what it could be. Your parents or family can focus on healing, getting back to normal life, or adjusting to a their new normal. Medicare and Medicare supplement plans can provide that security.

Why Millennials Need to Know About Medicare

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When we are young, we rely on and are the responsibility of our parents. As we age, the tables often turn. As adults we can find ourselves in the situation where we need to care for aging parents just as they cared for us for so many years. This is what faces the Millennial generation. Millennials need to prepare for the needs of their parents and this includes knowing about Medicare. This includes being able to compare Medicare plans, compare Medicare supplement plans, and to know all that you can to be prepared for the unexpected.

Medicare is Not Foolproof

The thing is Medicare is tricky and it is hardly foolproof. Medicare and Medicare supplement plans can be confusing to understand, there is so much fine print, and it is certainly complicated to navigate. Medicare comes with certain gaps in coverage and it is important to understand your options completely to receive the coverage you need. Medicare also involves health and financial topics which can bring up emotions and be difficult to talk about with family. There are many things you need to research and think about before you approach the subject with your loved ones.

Medicare Has Gaps

Medicare has four parts (A, B, C, & D) and there are two directions in terms of coverage. These directions are Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare is composed of Medicare Part A and Part B. It covers hospital and medical coverage, but does not cover all your healthcare expenses. This is why it is important to compare Medicare supplement plans and find the best ones to fill the gaps in coverage. Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, can replace Original Medicare. However, this coverage is provided by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. These plans often include additional coverage like dental and vision care. It is very important to note that Medicare Advantage cannot be supplemented with Medicare supplement plans.

Compare Medicare Supplement Plans

Original Medicare can be supplemented with additional plans and it is encouraged to research and compare Medicare supplement plans to find the right fit. For example, supplemental plans like Medicare Part D adds prescription drug coverage and other Medicare supplement insurance otherwise known as Medigap insurance plans, which can help you cover out of pocket expenses. Medicare supplement or Medigap plans are private health insurance that help supplement and fill the gaps in Original Medicare. These plans can help you budget your medical expenses month to month and are approved and follow state and federal laws. There are multiple plans to choose from depending on your budget and coverage needs. The important thing is to compare Medicare supplement plans in order to pick the right one.

Support and Advise Their Family

Millennials need to be prepared to talk to and advise their aging family members and loved ones about Medicare. However, this can be a tough conversation with some and easy with others. Research has shown that more older adults are divorced compared to previous generations. This had led to the rise of single-parent families and “blended families”. While this is not a bad thing it can lead to weaker family ties and less caregiving support for aging spouses and parents. This can also result in many older family members to put on a strong face, assert their independence, and assure us that they are okay on their own. While the reality is quite the opposite. They are our family, our parents, and they want to protect us even if that means from them. While it may seem like a silly reaction to us, it is meaningful to them, which means that when you approach the subject of healthcare you need to do so carefully and with sensitivity.

Remember To Do So Thoughtfully

Speak to your parent or loved one thoughtfully. Remember that this is a period of transition in their lives and it is difficult. You will want to try and step into your parent’s shoes and empathize with their feelings. Practice good communications skills by offering options and not advise. Ask for your parents’ ideas and input and express your concerns. Do not tell them what they should do. Try asking open ended questions that foster discussion. Let your parent be part of the decision-making process and start your discussions early. This is a huge asset when it comes to solving problems and giving our parents' choice is effective in helping them feel in control. This way they are more likely to adapt to changes. Ultimately, strive to honor and respect your parents or loved ones. Show them that while you may not always see eye to eye that you have their back through life’s transitions.

Conclusion

It is important that Millennials are educated about Medicare. Their parents are a part of a large aging generation that is going to face difficulties. Medicare has benefits to support a high quality of life for your loved ones as they age. However, it is tricky. Medicare and Medicare supplement plans can be confusing. There are fine print and rules. A lot of research and preparation is needed to make the right decision. This is why Millennials need to be involved in order to care for their aging parents and family members. So now you know. Know more about Medicare, be able to compare Medicare supplement plans, be educated on the Medicare conversation, and be in a position to help your loved ones when they need it. Learn more in order to know all you need to know to support your parents and family.

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