If you are approaching retirement age, or you’ve recently been diagnosed with a qualifying disability, you may be considering applying for Medicare benefits. If you will be receiving Medicare benefits, you must choose which plan you want to get your benefits through.
Your options include the standard Original Medicare plan and Medicare Advantage plans. You can also choose from Medigap plans and Part D prescription drug coverage, but those plans are supplementary.
Here’s what you need to know to choose the best Medicare plan.
Pick A Plan That You Can Manage
Original Medicare requires you to enroll in Part A and Part B separately. Under this plan, you will also need to apply for prescription drug coverage (Part D) separately, that is, if you need prescription drug coverage. Opting for a Medicare Advantage plan can allow you to get all of your Part A and Part B health care coverage under a single plan, simplifying the process of receiving health care services. It will even provide coverage not offered by Original Medicare, and this can include prescription drug coverage.
Now, with a Medicare Supplement, these plans are specifically used to supplement Original Medicare and Original Medicare only. It will cover costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles or coinsurance. If you choose to opt for a Medicare Advantage plan, though, you will not be able to get a Medicare Supplement plan.
You should also review your preferred plans to ensure that they are easy for you to understand and manage. If a plan doesn’t offer the flexibility you need, it won’t be a good long-term fit for you. Speak with an insurance professional to determine what your options are when it comes to Medicare plans that are easy to manage.
Think About Costs
Medicare is a public program, but the benefits are not free. You will have to pay premiums and other out-of-pocket costs in order to maintain your coverage.
Original Medicare has set premiums and deductibles that can be found on the medicare.gov website. Medicare Advantage plans have varying prices because they are offered by private companies. To find out what you will have to pay to get Medicare Advantage coverage in your area, contact an insurance professional, such as those with Advocate Health Advisors.
Assess Your Health Care Needs
Think about the coverage you will need from your Medicare plan. If there are specific health care services you will need in the future that aren’t covered by Original Medicare, you may need to invest in a Medicare Advantage plan.
People diagnosed with severe chronic conditions or illnesses may also qualify to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. These plans offer specialized coverage designed for people with specific diagnoses. Not everyone qualifies for Special Needs Plans, so speak to an insurance professional to learn if you are eligible.
Consider Which Providers You Want To See
Medicare benefits aren’t accepted by all health care providers. If you want to maximize your access to health care providers in your area, your best option would be a Medicare Advantage PPO plan. If your preferred providers do serve Medicare patients, you may not need this level of coverage, but it’s important to assess your needs before choosing.
Explore Medicare Plans
Advocate Health Advisors can help you find a Medicare plan that fits your needs. You don’t have to just settle for basic benefits; explore your options. Contact us now to get started with a free consultation.