Medicare and Medicaid save lives, help people live longer, and provide peace of mind with affordable healthcare that’s there when you need it. Chances are you or someone you have either Medicare or Medicaid in your family, or you know someone who does. Medicare and Medicaid cover nearly 1 in 3 Americans—that’s more than 100 million people.
More than 57 million seniors and disabled adults depend on Medicare, but too many struggle to enrol and navigate the complexities of the federal health insurance program, a national advocacy group says.
Care navigation is a broad category of solutions that help patients avoid these barriers and succeed in achieving their health goals. In practice, this can look like helping with:
- Administrative matters: understanding health plans and insurance.
- Clinical understanding: exploring and explaining options in prevention, care, and treatment.
- Patient care experience: patient advocacy, care coordination, and finding the right care.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is federal health insurance for people over age 65 and some people under age 65 with certain disabilities or conditions. A federal company called the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services runs Medicare. Because it is a federal program, Medicare has set standards for costs and coverage. This means that a person’s Medicare coverage will be the same no matter what state they live in.
Bills related to Medicare are paid from two trust funds held by the US Treasury. Trust funds are funded by a variety of sources (including payroll taxes and funds authorised by Congress). People with Medicare pay some of the cost through things like monthly premiums for medical and drug coverage, deductibles, and coinsurance.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps cover medical expenses for some people with limited income and resources. The federal government has general rules that all state Medicaid programs must follow, but each state operates its program. This means that eligibility requirements and benefits may vary from state to state.
Medicaid offers benefits that Medicare does not normally cover, such as nursing care and personal care services. People with Medicaid usually pay nothing for covered medical expenses, but they may owe a small copayment for some items or services.
Save From the Complexity of Medicare
Medicare is a complicated insurance program that beneficiaries – and even professionals can be difficult to navigate. Understanding the basic features of the program can help in accessing its benefits and minimising costly errors.
Helping your people understand the intricacies of Medicare. Such as plan options, enrollment periods, and fee structures, early on can help reduce employee stress later on. Reaching out to health insurance professionals (like us) to help educate employees about these concerns. And discussing the various options available to them can ensure they receive the best coverage for the services they need.
One of the reasons Medicare is so complicated is that it comes with multiple options. Some features of Medicare that employees need to consider are:
- Part A – Hospital insurance which covers hospital care and patient care.
- Part B – Health insurance that covers outpatient and medical care.
- Part D – Prescription drug coverage includes most self-administered prescription drugs.
- Medicare – includes Part A, Part B, and the option to add Part D
- Medicare Advantage – considered an all-in-one alternative to Medicare and includes Part A, Part B, and sometimes Part D, as well as other benefits such as vision/dental, etc.
- There are also premiums, deductibles, and copays to consider.
Addressing concerns like these can help employees confront financial burdens later. Like penalties, late fees, and over contributions. In other words, you as the employer can have a significant effect on your employees’ lives. You can make them more financially stable and eliminate huge sources of stress.
By setting up consultations with an expert to talk about their health insurance requirements. You can show your employees that you truly need the best for them. And they can feel comfortable knowing they are making smart changes.
Medicare can be a difficult idea to navigate, leaving many employees confused and overwhelmed. Some even avoid enrollment entirely. But the more information your employees have, the more nurturing the benefits plan is, and the more comfortable. And optimistic your employees will be about making the transition into Medicare and retirement.
Save From the Complexity of Medicaid
The health care system itself is complex. However, Medicaid recipients often have to navigate different programs, agencies, and rules. The complexity of Medicaid regulations and program design can be unnecessarily difficult for enrollees. A fragmented benefit design means that individuals receive behavioural health from one health plan, physical health services from another, and long-term services and supports (LTSS) from another agency. This is inefficient, frustrating, and leads to poor results. Nearly 1 in 5 Medicaid consumers say it’s difficult to know who to call when they have questions about Medicaid insurance.
Improving the quality of Care
Navigation services also facilitate patient-centred care or care in which the patient is prioritised as an active participant in their health decisions. This leads to increased patient satisfaction, better outcomes, and more cost-effective care. It contrasts with the more traditional model of the paternalistic doctor-patient relationship, which assumes that healthcare providers are more informed than the patient about the patient’s clinical condition. Instead, a shift toward physician-patient collaboration is underway. Following a flurry of digital health innovations and increasing access to medical information online, navigating care provides patients with more resources to make informed decisions.
Choosing a health plan shouldn’t be a frustrating experience. Policymakers have a big opportunity to help consumers if they take several steps now. The development of high-tech and high-touch decision support requires a long-term. And the consistent interplay between the public and private sectors. Innovation in the private sector can improve service levels for all if policymakers work with the private sector to enable the use of data. By setting a policy with explicit roles for the public and private sectors, innovative decision support can finally make choosing Medicare coverage easier.