As we grow older, the parent/child roles often reverse, and we find ourselves caring for the very parents who once cared for us. That reversal has happened to myself and my parents, specifically my Dad.

This past weekend, I experienced the struggle to access and coordinate my Dad’s ongoing care through Medicare.  I am sharing with you what I learned in hopes that you do not have to struggle as I did.

Me and My Dad

Medicare Overview

One of the biggest concerns for caregivers is navigating the complex healthcare landscape, particularly regarding Medicare. It’s essential to be prepared, understand the system, and know how to make it work best for your parents’ needs.

The world of Medicare can seem complicated, with various parts, enrollment periods, and specific terms. Medicare is a federal program providing health coverage for people aged 65 or older or with disabilities. It’s divided into four parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage).

Medicare Advantage Plans, or Part C, are “all in one” alternatives to Original Medicare. They combine Part A and Part B and often include Part D. While convenient, it may not always cater to your parents’ specific health needs or the costs they may incur. This is why some families switch to Medicare Parts A, B, and D separately for more flexibility.

Lastly, remember that changing or enrolling in Medicare coverage can only be done during specific periods. Make sure to mark these dates to avoid late penalties or gaps in coverage.

The Portal

In dealing with Medicare, preparation is critical. Encourage your parents to set up an online Medicare account. With their permission, help them manage it and understand their coverage. Please familiarize yourself with their username, password, and answers to security questions. Remember to respect their privacy and only access their accounts when needed and with their consent.

Additionally, having a copy of their Medicare card is critical, as it displays their Medicare number and coverage start date. Keep this card safe and easily accessible as needed when receiving healthcare services.  You can print a card from their portal if needed.

1-800-Medicare Authorization to Disclosure Personal Health Information

Yet, what happens when your parents can’t manage their healthcare? This is where the CMS-10106 form becomes essential. This form is used to advise Medicare of the person or persons you have chosen to have access to your personal health information.

Caring for parents can be challenging, but being prepared can lessen the burden. Taking the time to understand that Medicare can make all the difference in ensuring they get the care they deserve. Don’t hesitate to seek advice from a healthcare professional or Medicare expert when in doubt. After all, providing the best care for your parents is the goal.

Remember, the caregiving journey is not easy, but it is an act of love and the ultimate way of giving back to those who once cared for us.

Documents You Need!

A copy of your parents’ Medicare Card for your records.  You can print one from their Medicare Portal.

File the Medicare Form for your parents – AUTHORIZATION TO DISCLOSE PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION FORM.  This is the link: 

A Medical Power of Attorney

A HIPAA authorization or release form is a document that individuals sign for their health provider before the entity may use or disclose their protected health information.

Bonus Idea If You Are Over Age 65

If you are over 65, file the form naming the person(s) listed on your Medical Power of Attorney and avoid this happening to your children.

Call us at 214-239-4700 or click to set up a ZOOM MEETING

Michael Tannery CPA CDFA® AIF® ● CEO
Registered Principal | Tannery & Company

 Be A Financial Olympian™

 The opinions expressed in this material are for general informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice.  Individual circumstances do vary. Independent Financial Group (IFG) does not give tax advice. IFG Registered Representatives (RR) do not give tax advice while acting as a RR. These matters should be discussed with your tax professional.

Similar Posts