It was such an honor to represent KIRC on a national level! One of the goals of KIRC is to seek out information about programs and services that can help all of us - especially caregivers.
So today, let's talk a little bit about Medicare and some of the little-known benefits you or a loved one might be able to tap into.
She is based in Kansas City, Kansas and specializes in guiding clients through Medicare benefits and services. She works with the Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City.
I caught up with Loeb following a conference session which took a deep dive into Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans.
I asked Loeb to share a little bit about her work and what we all need to know about available benefits.
Loeb says, for beneficiaries there are so many great benefits and you may not know what is available to you. Such as...
1. Pest control
Some Medicare Advantage plans will offer pest control, which are things we don’t want to think about. Like bed bugs-and other things you don’t want in your house, especially if you have a chronic health condition.
Some Medicare Advantage plans have provisions to provide those services as part of your insurance coverage and all you have to do is ask.
2. How do I get help?
You can ask a SHIP counselor from a State Health Insurance Assistance Program. All fifty states and D.C. and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have counselors.
3. My area has limited Advantage Plans. What can I do?
I will double down and say, ask for help! Call 1-800 Medicare. Also, seek out a SHIP counselor (Remember - that's a State Health Insurance Assistance Program).
Also, I cannot stress the importance of voting. Your elected officials should know -your local, and state reps, and federal reps should know. The more people in power who know what you want and need, the better off you will be.
Talk to your health care providers and encourage them to join Medicare Advantage plans.
Speak up, speak out and let people know what you need!
4. What are those contact numbers again?
There will be someone in your area who can answer questions about Medicare. They are not going to sell you anything, they are not going to take advantage of you, but they will help you find the advantages you need to make Medicare work for you.
You can do that 365-days of year and you don’t have to wait until open enrollment.
Loeb adds, there is also another perk.
5. Can a person not age-eligible for Medicare but on disability get help?
The short answer is that once you have been on disability 25 months, (2 years -one month), then you will be eligible for Medicare.
Disability will continue and you will also have Medicare health insurance.
5. Can you get home repairs through Medicare?
Loeb says, this is something she learned during the conference session.
"Some of the Medicare Advantage Plans are starting to offer home repairs. This is not nationwide [that I’m aware] but it is starting to happen. There may be items considered, which are not medically necessary. So the long and short answer: Maybe and eventually - so keep asking."
Keeping it REAL Caregiving would like to thank Medicare expert, Kelly G. Loeb for her expertise and passion for helping others. I am proud to call her an ASA Rise colleague and new friend!
KIRC will continue digging out stories, and resources to help guide you through the world of caregiving. To ensure we can continue to grow and provide this service, I would like to invite you to join the next phase of Keeping it REAL Caregiving next week, as premium subscriber.
Interviews and exclusive video segments from the ASA conference
Video interviews with experts in the field of aging
Invitations to exclusive webinars
Private Coffee Chat & Support Hour sessions
Exclusive Q&A live sessions with your host, KIRC.
I hope you’ll support this effort as we continue educating and raising awareness. Look for full details later this week!
Until next time~