| Fri, Sep 19, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Understanding Medicare Can Help Lead to a Confident Retirement

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

medicareBy Pat O’Connell, Executive Vice President at Ameriprise Financial

There are a few things that usually become easier as you age such as maximizing your talents, practicing patience and balancing priorities. However, some things don’t inherently become easier with age. Planning for retirement and understanding Medicare are two things that likely fall into the latter category, but there are actions you can take to make planning for the future less complex.

It’s impossible to predict exactly what you’ll spend on health care during retirement. But understanding how Medicare will apply to your future healthcare costs is a very important step in feeling confident about your ability to fund anticipated and unanticipated healthcare expenses in retirement. Here are a few things you can do to better understand the financial aspects of Medicare:

  • Become familiar with Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D and what’s covered under each part as well as the costs and enrollment dates for each.
  • Keep in mind that Original Medicare Parts A and B won’t cover everything, so you may want to consider adding a Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare supplement insurance plan to help with costs that Original Medicare doesn’t pay. Or you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Before enrolling in Medicare, begin keeping track of your covered and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses throughout the year. This will help you understand where and how you are spending your healthcare dollars so you can plan appropriately.
  • Tracking your expenses will also help you determine which type of coverage might be most appropriate for your situation and if you need additional coverage.
  • Consider meeting with a Licensed Agent who can talk through your Medicare options in more detail and provide guidance about which coverage may fit your needs.

When planning for healthcare costs in retirement, there are many unknowns, but you can feel more in control by understanding Medicare and knowing your family health history and potential health risks as you age. Taking action to ensure you’re properly insured and have planned for everything from eyeglasses to a hospital stay can help you feel more confident as you enter retirement. It’s important to note that Medicare typically does not cover costs associated with long-term care so planning for that aspect of health care in retirement is especially important as you think about your financial and health future.

Another thing you’ve probably learned as you’ve grown older is that collecting information and asking for help and advice is beneficial, so consider working with a financial professional who can help you plan for your essentials, lifestyle and unexpected expenses as well as your legacy planning goals. For more information about financial planning, the Confident Retirement® approach or Ameriprise Financial, visit ameriprise.com.

Ameriprise is a proud supporter of National Medicare Education Week. Learn more about National Medicare Education Week and how you can take part at a live event or online.

Views expressed are the opinion of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. UnitedHealthcare is not affiliated with Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

Resources:

Medicare & You: Get the U.S. government’s official Medicare handbook.

Show Me Guide: Get help understanding Medicare choices and finding a plan to fit your needs.

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