Nearly 1 million Americans are living with Parkinson’s disease, and that figure is expected to climb to 1.2 million by 2030. While this disease can affect anyone, it is more common in older adults: it affects around 1% of the population over 60. If you are an older adult, especially if you have a family history of Parkinson’s disease, you might be worried that you could be diagnosed with this condition; you might also be worried about how you would pay for treating it. Medicare can help ease the financial burdens of paying for care, especially if you purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan.
Understanding Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disease that causes nerve cells in the area of the brain that control movement to weaken and/or die. It is the second most destructive degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s disease, but unlike Alzheimer’s, which primarily affects memory and cognitive skills, Parkinson’s affects movement, balance, and mood.
Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra; scientists believe this loss of nerve cells is triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. You might be at higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease if one or more of your family members has it: around 15 to 25% of people living with Parkinson’s have family members that have had it as well. In terms of environmental factors, studies have shown that Parkinson’s is more common among people living in rural areas, leading experts to believe that exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
There are four main symptoms to keep an eye out for when it comes to Parkinson’s:
- Tremor or trembling in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
- Slow movements
- Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
- Impaired balance and coordination
Medicare Coverage For Parkinson’s
Medicare will help cover some of the costs of treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Medicare Part A will provide coverage for any inpatient hospital stays, which can be beneficial for people who have more advanced cases of Parkinson’s. It will also cover up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility, as well as any surgery needed.
Medicare Part B will cover your doctor visits. It will also help cover the cost of physical therapy, injections, therapy for any accidents related to Parkinson’s, and any medical equipment needed to manage symptoms. Medicare Part B might also cover parts of Duopa therapy, an innovative procedure used to treat motor symptoms in advanced Parkinson’s. In this procedure, medication is delivered through a tube directly into the patient’s intestine.
A Medicare Supplement Plan can help cover any extra costs that Original Medicare does not cover, including the 20% coinsurance that you will have to pay out-of-pocket for every Part B expense. One of these plans could cover 100% of your Part A coinsurance and hospital costs, as well as 100% of Part B coinsurance and copayments, for one low monthly premium price.
There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, each offering different coverage options and rates. It’s worth looking into a Medicare Supplement Plan to save as much money as you can, so speak to an EZ agent for all of your options. EZ’s agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation and can compare plans in minutes for you at no cost. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.