Are you feeling confused by all the Medicare coverage options? Finding the right coverage for your specific health needs can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be!
Take a deep breath, because, with some research and help from our team at McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions, you can find the right Medicare plan that works for you.
Here are our top five tips to help you make the right choice.
#1. Consider Your Age and Timing
Many people enroll in Medicare during the Initial Enrollment Period, which is the seven months surrounding your 65th birthday—including the three months before your birthday and the three months that come after.
If you don’t enroll in this period, you may be responsible for late penalties and a lapse in coverage if you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Most people enroll in a Medicare plan in the seven months surrounding their 65th birthday.
If you are 65, are still working, and have insurance through your employer, there is often no need to enroll in Medicare. Federal law says that an employer group health plan can be the primary health insurance carrier over Medicare.
Open Enrollment for Medicare runs from October 15th through December 7th of each year. During this window, those who are already enrolled in Medicare can evaluate their coverage and make any changes if they wish to do so.
#2. Research Your Options
There are three different types of Medicare coverage including:
Original Medicare: Part A and Part B
Part A covers hospital care and Part B covers medical care. Original Medicare also covers the costs for many inpatient and outpatient medical services such as:
- Hospice care
- Some nursing facility care
- Home health care
- Durable medical equipment
It does not include dental, vision, or prescription coverage.
With an Original Medicare plan, your out-of-pocket expenses can include deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.
Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C, are offered through private insurers. They bundle all the coverage of Part A and Part B as well as Part D prescription coverage. Many Medicare Advantage plans also cover dental and vision care.
Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medigap
These types of supplemental plans are also offered through private insurers and supplement or offer additional coverage that Original Medicare doesn’t offer.
Some Medicare Supplement plans cover basic costs, while others offer more comprehensive coverage to help pay for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
#3. Consider Your Needs and Lifestyle
Before choosing a Medicare plan, it is important to take a few moments to consider what type of plan would best fit your needs and lifestyle. You should consider the following factors when comparing Medicare coverage:
- What are your medical or health care needs?
- Do you see your primary care provider once a year and do you need to see a specialist for additional care?
- Do you need a surgical procedure performed or outpatient surgery?
- Do you take any prescriptions?
- Do you have a chronic condition?
- Do you already receive Medicaid or disability benefits?
- Do you need vision and dental care?
- Do you want access to therapists and counselors?
- Are you fine with seeing an in-network doctor or do you want more flexibility to choose?
- If you travel, do you want health coverage wherever you go?
Answering these questions can help guide you towards which Medicare coverage is right for you. But if you still can’t decide, our team of independent insurance agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions is here to help. Schedule a consultation with us today!
#4. Make Sure Your Providers Are Covered
It is important to confirm what your doctors or other health providers are included in the Medicare plans that you are considering. This is one of the most important and often the most difficult parts of choosing a Medicare plan.
Many Medicare insurers have tools on their websites that let you look up doctors and hospitals that are included in their coverage. You can also call your doctor’s office to ask, but keep in mind that you must have the names of the specific plan available, not just the name of the insurer.
Going to an out-of-network doctor can be costly, and some Medicare plans don’t provide any out-of-network coverage except for emergencies.
#5. Look For Prescription Drug Coverage
When researching Medicare plans, make sure to have your current prescription medications handy to ensure that they are covered.
You may benefit from enrolling in Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage. These plans:
- Help lower the cost of prescription drugs
- Protect from higher prescription costs
- Are offered and managed through private insurers
- Are usually affordable due to lower premiums
Remember, enrollment in a separate Part D plan is not automatic. You have to select and enroll in a plan.
“New to Medicare? Check them out. Medicare questions can overwhelm most people. Bob explained plans and gave me direction to choosing one that fit me. Very professional and easy process when someone guides you.Plan in place and a wave of peace taken over. Fabulous!!” –5 star Google review from client Brenda W.
Get Medicare Enrollment Help Today
If you are nearing your 65th birthday and would like help deciding on a Medicare plan, schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable independent agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions. We will help you choose the right plan based on your health care, prescription, and lifestyle needs.