Learn More About Your Medicare Rights!
Courtesy The Tradition Prestonwood, Collin LIVING WELL Magazine
With all the discussion about possible future changes in Medicare and concerns that many seniors have about potential changes, it’s important to keep in mind the rights that Medicare beneficiaries already have. Many people who have been receiving Medicare for many years are still unaware of the important rights they have.
Your Medicare Rights
You have many rights guaranteed to you under Medicare.
For a full explanation and listing of your Medicare rights, go online at www.medicare.gov and get the booklet, Your Medicare Rights and Protections. You can also call your local Social Security office for the booklet.
Summarized below are some of the most important benefits for you, as well.
As a Medicare beneficiary, you have the right to all of the following:
- Be treated with dignity and respect at all times
- Be protected from discrimination
- Have access to doctors, other health care providers, specialists and hospitals
- Have your questions about Medicare answered
- Learn about your treatment choices and participate in treatment decisions
- Get information in a way you understand from Medicare, health care providers and, under certain circumstances, contractors
- Get emergency care when and where you need it
- Get a decision about health care payment or coverage of services, or prescription drug coverage
- Get a review (appeal) of certain decisions about health care payment, coverage of services, or prescription drug coverage
- File complaints (sometimes called grievances), including complaints about the quality of your care
- Have your personal and health information kept private
Your Medicare Rights in the Hospital
While in the hospital, you should get a notice, “An Important Message from Medicare About Your Rights.” You will be asked to sign it. The notice explains:
- Your right to get all medically necessary hospital services
- Your right to be involved in any decisions that the hospital, your doctor, or anyone else makes about your hospital services and to know who will pay for them
- Your right to get services you need after you leave the hospital
- Your right to appeal a discharge decision and the steps for appealing the decision
- The circumstances in which your hospital services may be paid for during the appeal (except for any applicable coinsurance or deductibles)
- What you might pay for if you continue to stay in the hospital after your discharge date
- Information on your right to get a detailed notice about why your covered services are ending
- When you’re admitted as an inpatient to a hospital, you have the right to get all the hospital care that is necessary to diagnose and treat your illness or injury
- If you think you’re being discharged from the hospital too soon, you have the right to ask a Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) to review your case. In Texas the QIO is TMF Health Quality Institute, located in Austin.
- The number to call for an appeal is 1-800-725-8339.
Preparing for Future Changes
There will likely be more changes coming to Medicare in the future. These changes will likely mean that seniors will need to pay more out of pocket for health care.
Prevention is the Best Medicine!
The best way to reduce your health-care costs is to stay healthy! And one of the best ways for seniors to do that today is to live in a retirement living community that promotes health and wellness, social activities and engagement, and independence.
Research shows that living alone can put seniors at great risk for isolation, poor nutrition and depression. One of the best ways for seniors to prepare for a happy, healthy future is to consider moving to an independent living retirement community where you can let go of worries about maintaining a home, stay active, have access to unparalleled health and fitness resources, engage in social and cultural activities, and know that staffing and security is available 24 hours a day.
Prepare for a long, happy, healthy future by knowing your health-care rights and by choosing a healthy lifestyle. That’s the best way to ensure that you will be in good shape, no matter what the changes may be to Medicare in the future.
The Tradition offers retirement living in an elegant and luxurious setting. To learn more about the advantages of the lifestyle offered by The Tradition or to take a tour of their site, give them a call at 972-388-1144.