MISSOURI — As healthcare costs continue to rise and the future of healthcare access in the U.S. in question, people are being encouraged to start saving for the unknowns of future healthcare costs earlier and earlier.

Elena McFann, CEO for United Healthcare’s Medicare division, Missouri region, told KMZU’s Brian Lock that it is never too early to start saving for possible future healthcare problems.

Click below to hear their interview, which aired Tuesday morning on KMZU.

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“I think it’s really important that [people] understand that Medicare offers a lot of coverage, but what it doesn’t do is really cover all of your costs,” McFann said. “If you go to a physician’s office, and you have a lab and some x-rays done, under original Medicare you’ll be on the hook for 20% of those costs.”

McFann suggested seniors look into something like a Medicare Advantage Plan, which would help to cover the costs for healthcare not covered by Medicare.

Having a supplemental plan, however, is not enough. McFann suggested that people should start saving much earlier. She suggested people factor in rising healthcare costs and the unknown associated with health when deciding how much they should put back in case of a medical emergency.

“We believe people should be constantly thinking about how to save money in healthcare, because the situation you’re in today may not be the situation you’re in tomorrow,” McFann expressed. “Whether you’re turning 65 right now or even if you’re already 65 and on a Medicare coverage plan of some kind, you will have in the Fall the annual enrollment period. So preparing now and thinking about what you value in your coverage will help you make the right decisions in the Fall for the annual enrollment period.”