As Medicare beneficiaries begin to think about which Medicare coverage options they will select during the upcoming Open Enrollment period, we’d like to ensure that they have the right information they need to select the best Medicare plans for their needs. Our advisors review each of our clients’ unique situations very closely in order to ensure that our clients get the best possible coverage. But even with the assistance of a professional Medicare advisor, consumers should be aware of important factors that go into enrolling in the right Medicare plans.
Here are the top 4 things that Medicare beneficiaries should think about when they select their Medicare plans:
1. Know the difference between the 4 Medicare parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Each of these parts serves a different purpose, making some parts more appealing to some Medicare participant than others. Also, some parts can be combined.
2. Review costs. Even though the Medicare program is sponsored by the government, Medicare beneficiaries will still need to pay premiums for many plans. These premiums may be as little as nothing to as expensive as a few hundred dollars each month. Medicare beneficiaries should also review co-payment amounts and deductibles to ensure that they enroll in the most affordable plans for their needs. It’s also wise to look at buying Medicare Supplemental insurance to cover any coverage gaps that may exist in your plan.
3. Compare network options. Not all Medicare programs allow participants to see the same doctors or use the same prescription medications. Therefore, be sure that as you review the Medicare plan options, you check to see if your healthcare provider is included in the network – and that any prescription medication you may be taking are also covered. If you find a Medicare plan that you enjoy, but that does not cover prescription medications that you need, you may be able to supplement those costs with Medigap insurance. Also, enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan may help to ensure that you are able to see the healthcare providers of your choice.
4. Select quality. When it comes to getting questions answered about your Medicare program and healthcare coverage, there’s no substitute for excellent customer service and helpfulness. You also want to be sure that your provider keeps you informed about changes to your healthcare plan. Therefore, review the quality of each provider before making your final choice. Look at consumer reports, perform online searches to look for real consumer feedback in healthcare and Medicare forums, and feel free to ask your doctor for his or her opinion of a particular provider.
Medicare beneficiaries should keep in mind that the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period begins on November 15 and will last until December 31, 2009. Medicare beneficiaries must make any changes to their Medicare plans during this time. Those changes will go into effect in 2010. With all of the changes to the Medicare program as a whole, it is especially important for all Medicare beneficiaries to review their coverage this year to ensure that they have the most appropriate plans for their needs.
Are you looking for information about Medicare Supplement programs that may help you pay for your healthcare more easily? For help finding the best Medigap plan for your situation, contact Medigap Advisors at 866-323-1441.
Jim McFadden has over 11 years of executive-level experience in the health insurance industry, is a youth baseball, softball and football coach, and has one of the worst fantasy football records in the world.