What to do When Medical Expenses Pop Up in Your Retirement Years
Although your retirement years should consist of as much relaxation and enjoyment as possible, there is always a chance that you could be faced with having to cover the cost of unexpected medical bills as you grow older. Should you be unfortunate enough to be faced with this situation, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your financial nest egg will be impacted as little as possible.
Don’t Rely Solely on Medicare
Many older folk are under the impression that Medicare will kick in and cover all of their health-related expenses once they have turned 65. However, this is not always the case, which is why you should consider the options of a Medigap policy from a private insurance company and/or a Part D prescription medication plan. It is also important to remember that you will only be able to buy Medigap cover if you already have Medicare Part A (hospital-related services) and Medicare Part B (general doctor services) in place. This will go a long way in helping to cover any potential medical shortfalls you may experience when it comes to healthcare coverage in your retirement years.
Ask About Alternative Options
If you have been using the same prescription for a while, you may be used to simply having it refilled each month without giving much thought to the out of pocket costs. After retiring though, you will want to ensure that your medical expenses are as affordable as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is to ask whether there are any generic options available for your particular prescription. This simple move can help reduce your monthly out of pocket expenses by as much as 50% to 75%. You may be able to further reduce costs by switching to preferred healthcare providers or by asking your healthcare provider about the possibility of prescription discount cards.
Research Available Assistance Programs
You should never be afraid to ask for help when it comes to covering your essential medical expenses during your retirement years. In fact, there are organizations out there that will be able to assist you if you are struggling to afford even the most basic healthcare. For example, if you need to replace a pair of glasses, the Rotarians will normally be able to provide these, along with your eye exam, at highly affordable rates. If you are in doubt about whether you qualify for any form of medical assistance, organizations such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will be able to provide you with any information you may need in this regard.
The adage of ‘prevention is better than cure’ certainly applies when it comes to curbing medical expenses during your retirement years. One of the best ways to keep your medical costs as low as possible during this special time of your life is to ensure that you do everything possible to remain as fit, healthy and active as possible.