How do you decide which Medicare coverage is right for you?
Today, we’ll look at two basic choices.
One, Original Medicare (Parts A and B), with the option to add a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) and/or a Medigap policy.
Two, a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), which covers all the things in Part A (hospitals) and Part B (doctors), plus added benefits (dental, vision, etc.). Some of these plans also include Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Before deciding, consider what you want from a Medicare plan. Need a plan that meets your health needs now and in the future?
Start by reviewing your overall health.
• Any health issues or recent changes in health? • Any surgeries expected?
• How often do you see the doctor?
• Do you take certain medications?
Knowing your own needs makes it easier to compare costs and coverage.
Now let’s say you’d like to keep your doctors but not pay too much.
Thinking about doing more traveling?
Original Medicare covers medical services within the U.S., but not abroad.
Medicare Advantage plans provide emergency and urgent care services within the U.S., and offer emergency coverage abroad.
Another thing to consider is whether you take medications, wear glasses,or use hearing aids.
Original Medicare lets you see any doctor that accepts Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans require that you see a doctor in their network, which can help reduce your costs.
One of the big benefits of Medicare Advantage plans is that they usually cover prescription drugs, dental work, eye exams and glasses, hearing aids, and gym benefits, at little or no cost to you.
You may also get a monthly allowance for covered over-the-counter items.
Be aware that benefits and costs can vary greatly among Medicare Advantage plans. For one thing, you’ll find differences in your access to doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, depending on whether they’re in or out of the plan’s network.
For more on the three basic types of Medicare Advantage plans – HMO, PPO, and POS – refer to our website.
So... once you’ve chosen a plan, what happens if you’re not happy with it?
Every year, you’ll have the opportunity to switch plans during an Annual Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 to December 7. Changes made during this period take effect January 1 of the following year.
You may be able to change plans at other times if you meet certain criteria.
Ready to take the next step? Contact us today.