Choosing a Medicare Plan That’s Right For You in 7 Easy Steps : 15% of the US population relies on Medicare to keep up with their healthcare costs. That number is continuing to trend upwards as more baby boomers are finding themselves crossing the 65-year-old qualifying age marker.
If you’re moving towards 65 and you thinking you might want to subsidize your medical needs with government insurance, you might have a lot of Medicare questions.
“What does Medicare cover?” “How do I enroll?” “Which Medicare plan should I choose?”
Those are questions that thousands of people ask every month, so know that you’re not alone in your confusion/curiosity.
To bring more clarity to key Medicare questions, particularity questions about choosing a medicare plan, our team has created an overview of how to determine which medicare type is right for your unique needs. Read on to make sure you’re covered and capable of living your best life!
Learn About Your Options
As we’re sure that you’re aware if you’re reading this article, there are a handful of medicare plans out there. The Medicare umbrella includes Part-A, B, C, D, and Medicare supplement plans.
Reading about what each of these plans includes is an important framework for the rest of our discussion. While you don’t have to click away and start researching literature on each plan type now, we will say that you will want to head over to the medicare.gov website. There, you can read about their plan descriptions.
The official government Medicare website can be found here.
Consider Your Health
Medicare plans vary based on the amount of coverage that they provide. For example, one medicare plan might only cover doctor’s visits but will ask that you pay for your prescriptions out of pocket. Another medicare plan might offer more comprehensive coverage that subsidizes your prescription expenses.
The more coverage your plan offers, the more it will cost you in the way of premiums.
It’s important that you consider what your healthcare needs are to find a balance between the amount of coverage that you need and the amount that you’ll pay for insurance each month.
Your current primary care physician can help you weigh the pros and cons and will give you a qualified recommendation.
Cost is a big component of choosing a Medicare plan conversation. Many people are under the impression that Medicare is free.
For most, it’s not.
As you can see here, the cost for coverage might vary based on your income and even at base rates, could cost you hundreds of dollars. While the price for Medicare is lower than comparable private coverage, in some cases you’ll still want to know what you’ll have to pay so you can plan accordingly and pick a plan that fits your budget.
Understand How Medicare Stacks Up to Private Options
If you can afford to pay for private insurance, you may be better off sticking with that as opposed to switching to government-sponsored care. While government-sponsored care can be cheaper, it often carries more limitations than private insurance might carry.
Many employers will let retirees keep their insurance benefits after they leave the workplace if they’ve stuck with the company for a certain amount of years. See if your employer offers that perk.
If they do, compare costs between that option and Medicare and look closely at each policy’s coverage allotments. From there, you can decide on how to best proceed with your insurance needs.
Pay Extra Close Attention to Prescriptions
We touched on prescriptions in a previous point, but seeing as how it causes a lot of confusion in the medicare community, we thought we’d mention it again.
Prescriptions are a key component to choosing a Medicare plan. Base Medicare coverage does not help with prescriptions, which can be one of the most expensive parts of your health maintenance.
Medicare Part D is often referred to as “prescription insurance” because helping Medicare enrollees pay for drugs is its primary function.
Look carefully at Medicare Part D if prescription payments are something that concerns you.
Talk to a Professional
We’ve hit you with a lot of information that’s worth thinking about. Once you’ve mulled over the different options that Medicare offers, you’re going to want to share your findings with a professional so they can correct any misconceptions that you have. They can help steer you towards choosing a medicare plan that’s best for you.
Your doctor is a great resource when it comes to medicare conversations. You could also find a health insurance agency with a live support team that can walk you through what your options are.
Pick a Plan and Enroll
As soon as you’re ready, you’re going to want to pick a medicare plan and get enrolled in it on time. If you try to enroll in Medicare coverage outside of your standard enrollment window, you could end up paying more for coverage for the rest of your life.
For that reason, don’t forget that the time to enroll is between 3 months before and 3 months after your 65th birthday.
Learn more about enrollment windows here.
Conclusion on Key Considerations When Choosing a Medicare Plan
Choosing a Medicare plan can be an overwhelming experience. Even after reading this blog post, you may still have a lot of questions.
Know that you’re not alone and that there are more resources locally and online that can get you the answers that you need.
Talk to a medical professional about any concerns that you have or feel free to browse more of the health content that we have available on our blog.
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Choosing a Medicare Plan That’s Right For You in 7 Easy Steps
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