The latest economic data shows many of us are paying more for essentials like groceries and fuel, and the prices of many everyday items continue to rise, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, posing a challenge for Indiana seniors and other Medicare Beneficiaries often live on fixed income.
Inflation concerns make it important for seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries to choose a health plan that will save them money during annual Medicare enrollment, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.
A recent study by ATI Advisory found that beneficiaries who enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans save nearly $2,000 a year in out-of-pocket expenses compared to Original Medicare.
Affordability is one of the reasons Medicare Advantage plans are growing in popularity. Almost half of those who will be eligible for Medicare in 2022, including 46% of Indiana beneficiaries, chose Medicare Advantage plans.
How health plans can help you save
In 2023, seniors and other beneficiaries will see even more innovative benefits from Medicare Advantage plans, such as improved dental coverage, to help them make significant savings and live healthier lives.
Original Medicare doesn’t cover dental work — not even routine teeth cleanings — leaving the beneficiary paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for procedures like crowns, fillings, implants, dentures, and more. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average Medicare beneficiary spent nearly $1,000 on out-of-pocket dental expenses in one year.
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans now offer comprehensive dental benefits that cover all non-cosmetic dental treatments, including dentures and implants, with no deductible up to the annual coverage limit of most plans. Members can visit any Medicare-accepting dentist nationwide, reducing worries about the cost of visiting an off-network provider.
Beneficiaries can also save money in unexpected ways. Why pay for a gym membership or fitness program when you don’t have to? UnitedHealthcare offers eligible Medicare members a free gym membership through its Renew Active fitness program, which offers free access to a network of more than 22,000 gyms nationwide, among other benefits.
Studies continue to show that moderate exercise can improve brain health, social well-being, and overall well-being.
Many people don’t realize that Medicare Advantage may even give them access to benefits that help them meet everyday expenses.
Those who are “dual eligible” for Medicare and Medicaid receive solid support from UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans. In 2023, when food and utility prices rise above average inflation, members will receive a credit of up to $2,200 to spend on many over-the-counter products, healthy food, heating, electricity, water, sewage, internet home and much more can spend more.
These are just some of the ways Medicare Advantage can benefit your health and your wallet. These advantages are easy to use and focus on personalised, modern and coordinated care.
Importantly, Medicare Advantage plans are at the forefront of a trend towards more home and remote care, with programs like UnitedHealthcare’s HouseCalls offering an annual in-home wellness visit at no additional cost.
There’s little we can do to control inflation or economic pressures, but by understanding the benefits available through programs like Medicare Advantage, seniors and other beneficiaries can take steps to save and move forward during the year on the path to better health in 2023. Learn For more information, visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com.
dr Mimi Kokoska is Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, Indiana.