Four Key Questions to Consider When Shopping for Your Medicare Plan
Finding the right Medicare plan is complicated. The right plan for you may be vastly different than the one for your spouse, neighbor or friend. Even worse, rates, rules and plan benefits change every year. Choosing the wrong coverage is frustrating and can cause you to pay more than you need to. On top of that, many Medicare markets offer more than 30 coverage options, which makes even the idea of changing or choosing a plan overwhelming. Often, people choose to stay with the plan they already have, even if they’re unhappy, simply to avoid the stress and uncertainty of something new.
At SeekMedicare, our goal is to take the frustration out of shopping for Medicare plans and make finding the one that best fits your needs and budget as simple as possible. So, whether you’re just turning 65 or already have a Medicare plan and want to see if there’s a plan that’s better suited for you, here are four key questions to ask.
1. Does the plan provide coverage that aligns with my specific health needs?
If you have a specific health condition, make sure that whatever plan you choose will cover the treatment you need without additional fees. Traditional Medicare includes Part A for hospital services, Part B for doctors services, and Part D for prescription drugs. For coverage that can include additional services, look for Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C. Today, many Medicare Advantage plans include transportation, dental and vision benefits in addition to medical and prescription drug coverage.
2. Does this plan work with my provider, specialists and pharmacy?
Not every medical office, individual doctor or pharmacy will accept your specific plan. Check to see whether your providers of choice are in-network before selecting your coverage for the year. The good news is that today, with an average of 30 available plans in any given market, coverage that includes your physicians and pharmacy is likely always available. You just have to find it — and that’s what we’re here for.
3. Does this plan work with my budget and provide cost savings?
Don’t be too quick to choose the cheapest plan. Many people believe that the lowest cost plan is the right plan for their needs, but this isn’t always true! For example, if you choose a plan that saves a few dollars per month, it may restrict which doctors you can see or which prescriptions you can get without paying out-of-pocket costs. While Medicare Advantage plans may look similar based on their premiums, there will be marked differences between them regarding deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance, and especially so with the particular drugs that you need to keep you healthy. Finally, cheaper plans may not include extras such as vision and dental. Don’t give up on essential benefits for what seems like savings — it can end up costing you more later.
4. Does this plan include additional benefits?
While Traditional Medicare typically does not cover preventive or routine dental, hearing or vision care, many Medicare Advantage plans today do! Medicare Advantage plans may also cover transportation to doctor visits and some even provide money for over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin. If you have a chronic illness, you may also find plans that tailor their benefit packages for your condition.
These questions are a great place to start to find the best plan for your individual needs. If you would like assistance finding the right plan for you, SeekMedicare is here to offer neutral advice completely free and with no obligation to enroll. Our Medicare Match technology compares dozens of plans across markets and health care providers while taking your unique health needs and budget into consideration.
When you sign up for a plan through SeekMedicare, whenever you need help — whether for a specific question, a mid-year plan review or during the annual enrollment period — we’ll be here to guide you every step of the way.
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When you sign up for a plan through SeekMedicare, whenever you need help — whether for a specific question, a mid-year plan review, or during the annual enrollment period — we’ll be here to guide you every step of the way.