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Your Guide to Medicare and How to Pick the Best Plan ”
Medicare coverage is designed for people who are 65 and older. While this coverage helps ensure they receive the medical care and treatment needed, all the options make the entire decision-making process challenging.
In fact, most people have over 25 plans to choose from. Each of these has different copays, premiums, and relationships with pharmacies and medical providers.
When searching for a Medicare plan, all the options can make this a difficult decision. Keep reading for a helpful guide to Medicare to ensure you get the coverage needed.
- 1 Forecast Your Current and Future Healthcare Needs
- 2 Review Your Coverage Options
- 3 Check to See if Your Doctors Are Covered
- 4 Use Medicare’s Plan Finder Tool
- 5 Cost Considerations
- 6 Consider the Convenience of the Plans
- 7 Use This Guide to Medicare To Get Quality Coverage for Your Healthcare Needs
Forecast Your Current and Future Healthcare Needs
List all your medications and the dosages you are taking and will keep taking this year. Take time to review the different medical care options you have received over the past 12 months if you currently have a Medicare Advantage plan.
With this information, you can try to predict the types of care you will require in the coming year. You can’t know, for sure, what will go on with your health. While this is true, there are likely some regular expenses that will continue.
This includes things like visits to specialists or special medical needs you may have. This information will help you select a plan for the coming year.
Review Your Coverage Options
Take time to review your existing coverage before choosing a Medicare plan (if you have any). Are you happy with what you have now? Is something else needed before the next enrollment period?
Considering these questions can be beneficial, especially if you are starting the Medicare enrollment process.
Other questions to consider at this point include:
- Do you want to stay with your existing doctors?
- Do you travel often?
- How often do you need medical care?
- Do you take any prescription medications daily or regularly?
Based on the plan you select, some of all these factors may impact your decision.
Check to See if Your Doctors Are Covered
It is important to make sure the doctors you go to now are covered in your considering plan. This is an important yet difficult part of the process.
The Medicare Plan Finder does not have the list of plan providers. To find out who is and is not covered, it is necessary to contact the insurer.
You will find some insurers will have tools available on their website that allow you to look up the hospitals and doctors that are covered. Another option is to contact your doctor or doctors.
However, you have to supply the name of specific plans rather than just the insurer. Most insurers offer several plans in any local area with different networks.
Along with seeing if your doctor is covered, you should find out what will happen if you use a doctor out-of-network. Some plans are PPOs, which will charge a higher co-payment and have higher maximum costs for out-of-network care.
While most provider networks will be in a region or state, some, such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, allow you to use networks in another state. This is beneficial if you travel often.
Others, even those that may be covered by the same company, are HMOs. This means they don’t provide out-of-network coverage, except in emergencies.
Some of the most affordable Medicare plans charge just $0 a month past the Part B premium; however, these have extremely restrictive networks.
Use Medicare’s Plan Finder Tool
Even if your existing coverage isn’t changing, you should still compare your options during open enrollment. A good way to do this is with Medicare’s Plan Finder.
With this tool, you can compare the co-payments and premiums for all the available plans. It will also provide an estimate for your out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications and the healthcare services you may need.
Most experts agree this is the best place to begin your search.
In most situations, Medicare Part A, which provides coverage for hospital care, is provided at no charge. Part B, which provides coverage for medical care, comes with a monthly premium. This is a plan you must choose.
If you currently receive Office of Personnel Management, Railroad Retirement Board, or Social Security benefits, then the Part B premium you are charged is deducted from the benefit payment automatically. If you don’t receive any of these benefits, you will receive a bill.
For Medicare Plan D coverage, which covers prescription drug costs, you must also pay a monthly fee. The coverage cost depends on what plans are available in your local area.
Consider the Convenience of the Plans
Some plans will provide coverage that other plans exclude. This includes things like dental and vision care and treatment. It is a good idea to compare the value of these “extras.”
One trend with Part D prescription drug plans is that low premiums are offered if you use a preferred pharmacy. Take some time to consider what plans offer this to find one that works for you.
Use This Guide to Medicare To Get Quality Coverage for Your Healthcare Needs
This guide to Medicare provides you with an overview of what you should consider when choosing a plan. There are many options, so you have to know what you need and what you can afford.
By taking your time and evaluating all the options, you can get the coverage you need for an affordable price.
The information here should provide you with more insight into Medicare plans and choosing one. We also offer other information on topics like parenting, technology, and gifts. Be sure to visit our blog often to see the latest posts and information.
Your Guide to Medicare and How to Pick the Best Plan