If your elderly parent is on a fixed income, you could be worried about how he or she is going to handle his or her healthcare expenses. It's true that healthcare costs can really rise as a person gets older. However, if you follow these steps, you can help your loved one get the care that he or she needs:
Consider Government Programs
First of all, it's a good idea to look into government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. If your parent is 65 years of age or older or if he or she has a disability, he or she should probably already be covered by Medicare. If not, it's important to visit your local Social Security Administration so that you can find out what to do in order to get your loved one signed up.
Medicaid is another separate federal program that helps people who have low incomes. If your parent's income is low enough, he or she might qualify for Medicaid as a secondary form of insurance. This means that Medicaid can pick up costs that aren't covered by Medicare. This can help greatly reduce the amount of money that your parent has to spend on his or her own healthcare. You should be able to find out more about Medicaid by visiting your local Department of Social Services or other similar agency. While there, you may also be able to find out about other programs that your loved one might qualify for to help make things easier, such as food stamps.
Ask About Sliding Scales
Some doctor's offices and other healthcare offices do offer sliding scales. This means that they base the amount that a patient has to pay off of his or her income. If your loved one has a low income, he or she might be able to qualify for low-cost health care from these clinics.
Look Into Additional Insurance
In some cases, seniors are able to save money by signing up for additional insurance, such as a supplemental policy that works with Medicare. Then, they can also keep their healthcare costs more predictable, which can be helpful for someone who is on a fixed income and who might not have a lot of money in savings.
As you can see, there are a few ways that you can help your elderly parent manage his or her healthcare, even on a fixed income. Even though healthcare can be expensive, there are programs out there that help people who have low incomes and people who are elderly. By looking into your loved one's options, you can help him or her get the best possible healthcare while keeping costs affordable.
Contact local long-term Medicaid services for more information and assistance.