Before Medicare kicks in: How to better manage health care costs

Currently, health care reform is a hot topic, with the views of both parties being passionate about how we can better transform our health care system. However, most people agree that something should be done to reduce the cost of medical care. A surprising number of Americans have critical health needs that are simply ignored because of the treatment cost.

Particularly, people with disabilities have many health problems and often have difficulty getting appropriate treatment. Some people with disabilities are entitled to Social Security Disability (SSDI) Insurance, which provides them with regular monthly income and medical benefits. The main benefit of the SSDI program is to obtain Medicare benefits. However, beneficiaries need to wait 24 months to get their Medicare SSDI application.

Now, what will be done should you need funds for medical treatment now and you cannot wait two years? Although there seems to be no way to avoid this 24-month wait, except in cases of Lou Gehrig’s disease or end-stage renal disease, there are several ways to reduce health care expenses before they can to claim Medicare. Once you qualify for Medicare, you must also make sure you sign up for the right policy for your health and financial status.

Managing health care bills before qualifying for Medicare

Even if you are a recipient of SSDI and Medicare benefits, it is imperative that you maintain your current health insurance. Find out to see if you can join the insurance policy of your spouse with another private insurance firm. If you have taken out health insurance with your previous employer, you may qualify for COBRA. It offers you the option of maintaining your employer’s group health policy until 18 months after the end of your employment.

You can benefit from an 11-month extension if you have SSDI benefits. The next step is to negotiate lower health costs, but start with an investigation. Determine the typical cost of the procedure you need and the cost normally charged by your doctor or hospital. Do not be afraid to look around and see if you can do it cheaper at another hospital or a qualified medical office in the area. It does not hurt to ask the doctor if he can give you a discount. Find out if the property offers free financing or prepayment options.

Finally, check how it reduces the cost of prescription drugs. According to the Food and Drug Administration, many expensive prescriptions contain generic alternatives that do their job well enough and save between 50 and 70 percent. However, always consult your doctor before switching to a new medicine or a generic medicine. In addition, many large pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance programs to people with limited resources. Eligibility differs from the producer; however, these programs must be designed to potentially reduce health care costs. Many states also have policies that can help pay for prescription drugs. Each state has its own eligibility rules.

Before Medicare kicks in: How to better manage health care costs