Medicare can help you save money on your health care costs, but the reality is, your bills can add up quickly.
If you have Medicare and need help paying your bills, there are steps you can take to help bring down your health care costs. Here are three ways you may be able to save money.
1. Apply for a Medicare Savings Program
Medicare Savings Programs can help you pay for some of your health care costs – like premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Many Medicare beneficiaries can use these programs, but you do need to meet some qualifications to apply. The qualifications may be different depending on where you live and how much money you make.
You can apply for these programs through your state. When you send in your information, your state will determine which programs fit your qualifications. Even if you don’t think you qualify, you should still apply. If you have questions or need help navigating Medicare, contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
2. Make the most of no-cost preventive services
Preventive services are regular screenings or checkups that help you stay healthy. These services can keep you from getting sick or allow you to find health problems early. With Medicare, many of these services are free and there is no need to fill out any extra paperwork to use them.
Medicare Preventive Services may include:
- Yearly wellness check-ups
- Vaccinations for the flu, shingles, and COVID-19
- Screenings for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and HIV
- Counseling to help you quit smoking
- Training on how to manage diabetes
3. Get Extra Help on the cost of prescriptions
There are also programs that help Medicare beneficiaries pay for prescriptions. Extra Help is a federal program that provides assistance for out-of-pocket prescription drug coverage costs. This assistance can add up to $5,000 a year, depending on your income and qualifications.
To learn more about ways to save money on your Medicare costs, contact your local SHIP at shiphelp.org or call 877-839-2675. You will be connected with a local team member who can answer your questions and provide additional information on more ways you may be able to save money on Medicare. These services are always free and confidential.