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Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

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posted: June 24, 2007

Timely Tips

Timely Tip: Medicare MSA Questions to Ask

Medicare Savings Accounts, a sort of medical emergency bank account program for the elderly, are one of the newest Medicare options available to our loved ones.

They are an optional part of the privately-administered Medicare Advantage Plan program and are more fully explained in the June 2007 feature article Exploring Medicare MSA’s – Is a Medicare Medical savings Account Right for Your Loved One? in the monthly newsletter Caregiver’s Home Companion.

As with any such program, caregivers and their elderly should carefully and fully check out the program for its suitability for your loved one. In doing so, here are questions to ask at a minimum:

  • How much will be deposited in the plan member’s account each year?
  • What is the plan’s deductible?
  • What is the plan’s annual out-of-pocket maximum?
  • What is the plan member’s financial responsibility for services after the deductible is met?
  • Is there a co-insurance responsibility with the services offered through this plan?
  • Is there coverage for any preventative or wellness services?
  • Is the patient limited by doctors or hospitals that are in the network?
  • What happens if the patient decides to see a doctor not in the network? What does that cost?
  • What happens if in an emergency the patient is taken to a hospital not in the network?
  • What, if any, are the costs associated with setting up the account with the bank?
  • Will the account earn interest?
  • How are funds withdrawn from the account?

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