Once you reach retirement age, you are likely thinking about the freedom that comes with no longer being tied down to a 9-to-5 job and only having weekends to do all of the things you want and need to do. You probably have children and grandchildren you want to spend more time with, and you may also have plans to travel and see more of the country—and beyond!
But I Have Medical Issues!
One thing you should not have to worry about when you retire is how you are going to pay for medical expenses. This is especially true if you are under a doctor’s care for any type of long-term medical issue, whether it’s a serious one or one that simply requires regular visits with your health care provider.
Although your Medicare coverage provides health benefits wherever you are, if you are traveling you may not have access to your regular physician. You may also have to undergo monthly blood work or other testing to monitor a chronic condition. If you are on a trip around the world or just an extended visit with loved ones, you certainly do not want to have to interrupt your trip to have minor medical issues taken care of.
Taking Care of Your Health While Traveling
Enter two MediGap Advisors affiliates, DirectLabs and AmeriDoc. These two companies can help you manage your health while you are on the go, allowing you to enjoy all the freedoms of retirement without the health care worries.
I have written extensively about the services provided by DirectLabs, and cannot begin to tell you how great the service this company provides is. If your physician orders blood tests for you, either in or away from his office, you can contact DirectLabs and schedule your tests yourself at a discounted price. It is as simple as calling a toll-free number, telling them the test you want, and downloading the requisition form to take to the nearest participating lab.
This can be an especially helpful tool for managing your health while on the go. For example, if you are taking medication that requires monthly monitoring to check blood levels, you can call DirectLabs and schedule your exam wherever you are.
By the same token, if you become ill and have to visit an urgent care center while traveling, you can ask the attending physician to allow you to schedule any necessary lab work on your own. The results of the blood work are usually available within a few days. Please keep in mind, however, that DirectLabs is not able to expedite lab results in the event of an emergency situation.
Another company that MediGap Advisors is proud to be affiliated with is AmeriDoc. Their consumer-directed program, DocDial, allows you access to U.S. board-certified physicians regardless of your location. For a monthly fee, you are able to contact a doctor via email or telephone for a consultation and diagnosis in the event of an illness.
There are also Web consults available, which allow you to have a face-to-face visit with a physician using your computer’s webcam and microphone. The video and audio is of high quality and you will feel like you are in the same room with the physician. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your condition at length and may also help the physician diagnose you.
Your membership with DocDial also includes the services of a counselor for things such as weight management and behavioral health, naturopathic medicine, and management of your nutrition. This can be a helpful tool when you are away from home and experience a difficult time keeping on track with your healthy lifestyle choices.
If you are a member of DocDial, you can also update your medical records online, allowing you to keep a record of anything that happens while you are away from home. This way, you can be sure to follow up with your primary care provider when you return home to make sure you continue to get the treatment you need.
HSA Plans Can Be Used to Help With Expenses
IF you have a vested health savings account (HSA), you can use your HSA funds to pay for lab work done by DirectLabs and for membership with DocDial. This means that in addition to the considerable savings you are offered with both of these affiliates, you will also have the benefit of using already-available and tax-free funds to pay for them.
No matter where you are or what you are doing, MediGap Advisors wants to help you maintain your health and have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are prepared in the event of an unexpected illness. If you have a chronic condition, we do not want you to waste your retirement years schlepping to your doctor every month to have your blood taken and your medication refilled.
If you would like more information on additional benefits like the discounted lab work we can provide through DirectLabs, please visit our MediGap Advisors Member Benefits page. You can also visit AmeriDoc’s DocDial page to learn more about that service.
Please remember that the team of Personal Advisors at MediGap Advisors is available to answer any questions you may have about your health care, at no cost or obligation to you. We are simply here to help you receive the best care possible for the least amount of money. Give us a call today at 866-323-1441!
We believe that the more money you get to keep in your own pocket instead of handing it over to an insurance company, the better. We are always on the lookout for more ways to save money on health care costs. If you have any tips on how to pay less for medical care or expenses, please feel free to share them in our comment section below!
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.