Most people believe that all health insurance costs will be covered by Medicare. This unfortunately is not true and we know that twenty million people will be going on Medicare in the next 14 years! Beneficiaries like you, have many options that are available. As an independent broker who is appointed with many highly rated Medicare Insurance carriers, we can deliver real options and personalized service to our clients who are nearing age 65 or during open enrollment which occurs annually from October 15 to December 7. Below are several areas to think about before selecting your Medicare benefits.
Below are 5 things you should consider before deciding which option is best for you.
No matter where you live or what plan you select, you will have to pay a Part B premium each month and this amount will depend on your income. This premium is in addition to the deductibles and co-payments as well as the premium for a Prescription Drug Plan.
Many people select a Medicare Supplement and pay a planned premium and defer the cost of the deductibles and co-payments to the insurance carrier as well as limiting their out of pocket expense. Once again premium for a Prescription Drug Plan is required.
With a Medicare Advantage Plan, your Hospital, Medical and Prescription Drug coverages are transferred from Medicare to a Health Insurer. They must provide coverage equal to Medicare and often times provide additional coverage like gym membership, dental, eyeglasses and more. Premium vary depending on plans you select.
Working with a broker that works with a number insurance carrier, can help you select the lowest cost possible with benefits that matter to you.
2. Customer Satisfaction Is Key
Cost shouldn’t be the only factor when considering different health insurance options. Receiving quality care and getting reliable help with your claims also goes a long way toward ensuring a positive experience.
Medicare uses a star system to rate different insurers, with five representing a top mark. Among other factors, the site takes into account member experiences and how plans manage chronic conditions and customer service.
3. Access to Providers
Medicare Advantage plans have a group of doctors that beneficiaries can access in their service area. This may limit your options for treatment. Determining if you doctor or medical providers are in a plan can be critical, not only for your care but for additional costs if you go out of network.
4. Out-of-Pocket Expenses Are Capped
One of the major benefits of Medicare Advantage plan is that there’s a cap on the out-of-pocket expenses a recipient must pay. In 2018 the maximum out of pocket in network is $6700 and out of network $10,000 per year.
5. You May Need to Wait for Open Enrollment
There is a seven-month window surrounding the age of 65 when you have the opportunity to select the Medicare coverage that will cover your needs. If you miss this window, typically you will have to wait until the open enrollment period that occurs annually between October 15 and December 7th unless you qualify for a Special Election Period. You also have the opportunity to change your Medicare Advantage Plan each year during open enrollment.
The Bottom Line
Which Medicare the plan is right for you depends on your unique circumstances and what important to you. Checking out the Medicare website is a good way to get the details on plans in your area, including pricing and quality ratings, however working with a broker who can help you identify what’s most important to you.