Check with your MPA Skills......

Check with your MPA Skills......
| by GNA Admin

Many seniors have what is called a Medicare Advantage Plan MA (most have Prescription Drug plans included MAPD) but never really take full advantage of all the benefits of the plan. Especially now during this COVID-19, shelter in place, isolation period, seniors need to stay out of the community to prevent themselves from getting exposed to the virus.

If you have an MA or MAPD plan you might have OTC (Over the Counter) benefits which allow you to purchase OTC items FREE through the catalog associated with your insurance carrier. Sometimes these benefits are quite generous and sometimes not so much but free is free and your items are shipped directly to you. This could prevent you from being out in the community.

Another item that is sometimes included is the Medical Alert device. Most people do not want to admit they might need this but if you live alone you should have this protection. I personally called the police once for a wellness check on an elderly woman who missed a luncheon, the police went to do a wellness check and found her on the floor (she had been there for two days). She did not think she needed that button but she lived alone and if I had not made the call she might have died (our friends at the luncheon all declined to get on her bad side for making the call but it saved her life — literally).

Another story, a friends in-laws were both «down» for almost a day before being found, when one tried to help the other up after a fall, there were two ambulances, two emergency room trips and a family in turmoil when both seniors had injuries which required hospital and rehabilitation stays. At least one senior should have this if there is a risk of falling — it is okay to have a safety net. Some plans will provide the device free, you sometimes have a monthly fee but sometimes you do not, if you or your spouse have a fall risk (most do at a certain point) a doctor can document the need to support the insurance company paying the bill. The amount of money saved by the insurance company makes it worth their while to offer this benefit.

Using the OTC benefit will keep you out of the stores, using the Medical Alert device benefit could prevent you from having rescue come into your home thus preventing the virus from entering as well.

Check your explanation of benefits to see what «extras» came with your plan. Call your insurance agent or the customer service number on the card or access the website to find out how to access those benefits, many people leave these benefits on the table.