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Planning For Healthcare on a Fixed Budget in Retirement

Retirement should be easy, but healthcare can make it confusing. Having the right tools to help you navigate healthcare after you have stopped working will make the process easier and allow you to get the most out of your golden years.

Some people are fortunate enough to carry company insurance after they retire, but most people lose all or most of their health benefits. Here is a quick look at what resources are available to make sure you get the best and most affordable healthcare benefits in your retirement.

Medicare, Medicaid: What works for me?

For seniors 65 and older, Medicare is the federal health insurance program you are eligible for, while about five million low income seniors are also eligible for Medicaid, which helps pay the premiums and outof-pocket expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Understanding what is most important and needed will also determine which Medicare plans (Parts A, B, C, D) are best for you. And if you are looking into a senior community or nursing home, check to see if they accept Medicare or Medicaid. Some facilities accept insurance and others require payment out of pocket.

Both Medicare and Medicaid provide free preventative care services under their plan, including cancer screenings and immunizations. Medicare.gov is the best resource to start understanding what benefits are best for you.

Medicaid.gov will also help those eligible understand what it is covered under that plan.

If you want to speak to someone directly, call Social Security at 1-800- 772-1213. You can also consider speaking with a healthcare advisor. Call 1-800-852-3345 to speak with a patient advocate at the NH Department of Health and Human Services.

Other resources

There are other valuable resources available to seniors in New Hampshire to help them calculate the cost of their healthcare and find what plan is best for them:

The AARP website (www.aarpmedicaresupplement.com) has a free decision guide book that includes detailed information, including pricing and benefits, of plans available to you.

The NH Department for Health and Human Services (www.dhhs.nh.gov) provides links and information on Medicare and Medicaid.

Be proactive

According to a Pew Research report, the U.S. healthcare system affords seniors better opportunities to have “more timely access to specialists” and “have a chronic care plan tailored to their daily life” than residents in 10 other major countries. However, that access and specialized care comes with a cost.

By knowing what plans you are eligible for and what benefits you are entitled to before you need them will allow you to better plan for the retirement.

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