1. How will my current health insurance work with Medicare? If you are still working or recently retired, there’s a good chance you already have a private health insurance policy. This may make you hesitant to sign up for Medicare because you’re unsure of how the two different policies will interact. Not to worry – private health insurance and Medicare work hand in hand, and having Medicare on top of your existing coverage can further reduce your medical bills. A Medicare agent will be able to work with you to determine how much coverage you currently have and how much extra coverage Medicare will provide for you.
2. Am I eligible for Medicaid? Again, many people assume that Medicare and Medicaid (TennCare in Clarksville and Tennessee) is the exact same thing, or that if they receive Medicare they are not eligible for Medicaid. In fact, it is common for a person to receive benefits from both at the same time. These people are called dual eligibles, and there are nearly 10 million people in the United States who currently receive benefits from both. Based on your income and financial resources, your Medicare agent can help you determine if you also qualify for Medicaid.
3. How does vision coverage work on Medicare? Standard Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, Medicare will help pay for these after cataract surgery (up to 80% of the total costs). Medicare also covers a single glaucoma screening every 12 months for anyone who is considered high risk for the disease, including people with diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, and African-Americans age 50 or older.
4. Does Medicare provide coverage if I leave the United States? Generally, Medicare does not provide coverage to people who are traveling outside the U.S. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are all considered part of the United States. Some Medicare Advantage plans do, however, provide coverage throughout the world if you are traveling and need medical assistance. This can vary depending on individual providers, so it is important to double check before you leave the country.
5. Can I still receive Medicare if I am already getting Social Security Disability benefits?
Yes. Anyone who has received disability benefits for at least two years is also eligible to receive Medicare. The two year period starts the same month you are first deemed eligible to receive disability benefits
6. Can I receive home health care treatment with Medicare? If you have Medicare, you are entitled to home health treatment if you meet all of the following criteria: your doctor must decide that you need medical care at home; you must be in need of frequent skilled nursing care or physical therapy; the home health agency that will be taking care of you must be Medicare-approved and certified; and finally, you must be considered homebound (unable to leave your home without reasonable assistance).
If you do meet all of the above criteria, you will be eligible for the following
- Skilled nursing care on a part-time basis or intermittent basis.
- Home health aide services on a part-time basis. This includes help with such activities as bathing, dressing, and other personal needs.
- Physical therapy for as long as your doctor says you require it.
- Medical social services to help with emotional concerns relating to your illness or condition.
- Certain medical supplies, including wound dressings, walkers, and wheelchairs.