Managing Healthcare Finances: Ages 65 and Up

Retirement is all about doing what you enjoy—these tips will help you stay happy and healthy for it.

When retired or preparing for retirement, you’re at an exciting time in your life. You can focus on your health and spend time doing what you love. However, your medical care and drug costs might also be rising. Because of this, it’s important to stay healthy and to take full advantage of all your plan has to offer to reduce your costs and headaches. We’ve got you covered—here are some ways to do that.

1.     Prepare for retirement
Retirement is all about getting the freedom to enjoy what matters most to you. If you haven’t already, you should consider what your health coverage will be once you do retire and discuss the options with your significant other. You may want to find someone who can help you with long-term healthcare and financial planning.     
Take inventory of your finances, evaluate your health needs and think about potential health needs when you’re older. Here are some things to think about: Do you need a large provider network? Is overseas health coverage important to you? What are your prescription drug needs?  When you’re considering the cost of these different options, make sure you sign up for MyBlue® so you have access to an easy-to-understand snapshot of your healthcare finances and tools to help manage your costs.

2.     Enrolling in Medicare
You’re eligible to enroll in Medicare three months before and after you turn 65. If you enroll after this period, you may have to pay a penalty. One of the best parts of being a federal employee is being able to take the benefits you love into retirement. You can combine your Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) coverage with Medicare Part A and Part B primary to get additional benefits that Medicare alone doesn’t offer and pay for services not covered by Medicare. We’ll even reimburse Basic Option members Medicare Part B premiums with through a Medicare Reimbursement Account. Click here to learn more about how FEP and Medicare can offer you even more great benefits to enjoy in retirement.

3.     Get active
It’s never too late to start. Good health can make a big difference in how much medical care you need, even if you haven’t been active previously in life. We offer incentive programs that let eligible members earn rewards for making healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercising more or managing chronic health conditions.

4.     Protect your eyes and teeth
Taking care of your eyes and teeth is important to your overall health. Many health issues can first be detected by getting annual vision and dental checkups. Your medical plan may include some dental care, and also includes a Vision Care Affinity Program. If you need additional coverage, you can look into a supplemental dental and/or vision plan through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

5.     Prepare for the future
It’s recommended you plan for the unexpected and prepare advanced directives, which express your desires in the event you can’t speak for yourself. There are two types: a living will and power of attorney. A living will indicates clearly what life-sustaining treatments you prefer, such as resuscitation or mechanical respiration. In the event you’re unable to speak, a power of attorney designates someone you trust to speak on your behalf on matters like finances or healthcare issues not outlined in a living will. It might be tough to think about this, but it’ll give you peace of mind. Consider it extra insurance for yourself and ensuring your loved ones know exactly what to do in case something happens.

6.     Think about what comes after
No one really wants to think about it, but planning what happens after you die and writing a will saves your loved ones a lot of stress and ensures they’re legally protected. If you have a specific plan in mind, you can outline conditions, such as withholding finances from your children until they reach a specific age. If you die without a will, states have strict laws that determine how much goes to your spouse and children. Contact a lawyer that specializes in estate planning to guarantee your will is legally sound, has no loopholes and isn’t subject to unnecessary tax. 

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