In stark contrast to the generations before them, today’s seniors who are 65 years of age and older have many more options when it comes to Medicare coverage. In fact, seniors in America currently have over 25 different plans that they can consider, and each one of the plans has its own co-pays, premiums, physician network coverage, and pharmacies.
This means that with so many choices available, it is important that you take the time to read and understand all of the different plans and select the one that is best for your needs.
The following are six factors to consider when choosing a Medicare plan.
Current Health Insurance Plan
Before you decide to enroll in a Medicare plan, you will need to consider any current health insurance plans that you are using and if you want to stop using these plans or keep using them. If you need assistance, you can speak with your insurance company representative to inquire about how your current coverage will work with the addition of Medicare supplement plans 2020.
Choices For Coverage
Not only will you need to consider how Medicare will compliment your current coverage, but you will also need to think about whether or not you are truly happy with your coverage.
Are you interested in including more coverage before the enrolment period? This question and the ones that follow are extremely important if this is your first time actively considering the Medicare enrolment process.
- Do you want the same health practitioners?
- Are you taking prescription medications regularly?
- Are you a frequent traveler, or do you stay away from home for several months at a time?
- Do you have regular doctor appointments?
You should take your answers to these questions into consideration when choosing the plan that will work best for you.
Coverage For Prescription Medications
There are two parts of regular Medicare that does not cover the costs of prescriptions, and those two parts are A and B. If you need this type of coverage, you will to get the coverage that is associated with the Medicare Advantage Plan or you will need to pay for Medicare Part D.
Health Care Providers
Most seniors prefer to keep the same healthcare providers they have been using with other health insurance plans. So, if you want to keep the same provider network, you will need to ask them if they participate in any of the plans that you may choose.
Keep in mind, there is a good chance you can keep your primary healthcare provider if you are choosing regular Medicare. However, if you are considering an HMO Advantage Plan, you will be limited to choosing a doctor from the list of doctors who are a part of the plan.
On the other hand, a PPO Advantage Plan is not as restrictive. You are able to choose a doctor from any network, but the price you pay out of pocket will be more expensive.
Vacation Homes/Nomads/Frequent Travelers
If you spend a significant amount of time throughout the year traveling or living in a second residence, your best option may be the regular Medicare plan. This plan is accepted by healthcare providers throughout the nation. In addition, you do not have to choose a doctor or obtain a referral in order to see a specialist.
The PPO and HMO plans are considered regional Medicare plans. With these plans, not only may you be asked to schedule care with your doctor, but you may also be limited to using doctors in the network.
Most people receive Medicare Part A for free. This plan covers hospitalization. Medicare Part B has to be purchased via a monthly premium because it is considered an elected plan. You do not have to pay out of pocket for this premium if you receive benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
The monthly premiums are deducted from the benefits. Those who do not receive these benefits will be billed.
You will also be billed if you elected to receive Medicare Part D to cover your prescription costs. The cost of this type of coverage is based on the plan that is available in your region.