Written by Jordan McElwain — Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Healthcare accounts for 12-16% of total expenses for older adults (age 65+) and, according to our recent report, 33% of seniors are concerned about affording their healthcare heading into 2023. With widespread concern about the cost of living and medical expenses, we wanted to share six ways that Medicare beneficiaries can reduce their healthcare costs.
Some of these money-saving tactics involve navigating the ins and outs of Medicare and your specific plan. It’s not always easy, which is why Chapter is here to help! If you have questions or need help with anything regarding your Medicare coverage, reach out to the Chapter Medicare team. For everything from enrolling in the best value plan for your needs to helping you use your benefits to their fullest, we’ve got you covered.
Nearly half of Medicare-eligible people are on Medicare Advantage plans that come with a variety of extra benefits, including Part B premium reductions, fitness programs, transportation to doctor appointments, and help with durable medical equipment (DME). Make sure you’re aware of all of the benefits available with your plan as well as how they work so you aren’t leaving money on the table.
If you have a few larger medical expenses coming up, you may think it makes sense to spread them apart to avoid owing too much at once. But be aware of the time of year and your annual deductible amount. If you’ve already reached your annual deductible, then taking care of visits and procedures before the end of the year can help you reduce what you pay. If you haven’t been keeping track of your out-of-pocket expenses, call your insurance company or work with the Chapter Medicare team to uncover the details.
You’ve likely heard before that switching to generic prescriptions can save you money. I was shocked to learn that, in some cases, even switching the form of your drug (e.g. capsule vs. tablet vs. softgels) can save you a lot of money! Examine the details of your Medicare drug coverage to see if switching to comparable prescriptions could save you money, then discuss the change with your doctor.
Most of us choose our pharmacy based on convenience, but did you know that different pharmacies charge different prices for prescriptions—and the differences can be significant? Take the time to compare how much each of your prescriptions will cost at local and mail order pharmacies, as well as other retail options like Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drug Company. You may be amazed by how much you can save just by changing where you purchase your prescriptions.
Medicare covers a lot of preventive and screening services that can help reduce your chances of developing chronic medical conditions and increase your chances of catching things early. Reducing your chances of developing medical conditions may not save you money immediately, but it can help reduce your lifetime health expenses, so it’s important to schedule your annual wellness exam, receive screenings, and get the vaccinations you need.
Helpful tip: Chapter’s Member Advocates can get you help schedule your preventive and screening appointments with in-network doctors.
Once you’ve chosen your Medicare coverage, it’s not set in stone. If your healthcare costs are too much to manage, you should consider adding or changing a supplemental plan (Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and/or Part D) to reduce your expenses. Keep in mind that making a change at the wrong time can have consequences. To avoid penalties or a lapse in coverage, speak with a Chapter Medicare expert to understand how adding or changing a supplemental plan will affect your coverage.
Realizing some of these savings may sound as challenging as climbing Mount Everest. At Chapter, we know that maneuvering through complex medical terminology and fine print can feel impossible—and that’s why we’re here. We want to help you get access to the affordable, high-quality healthcare you deserve and need. From choosing the best types of prescriptions and pharmacies to finding the right plan and using your benefits, we’re here for you when you need help with Medicare. Get started today.