Many older adults don’t realize how many options they have when it comes to healthcare. As you near retirement, you probably assume that you’ll get Original Medicare and nothing else. While you can do this, there are many other options out there.

This begs a few questions. First and foremost, what options are available to qualifying adults? What should you consider before making a decision? Finally, when can you make changes to your existing Medicare plan? We will answer all of these questions and more in the following guide. Let’s take a look at a few different methods to effectively shop for the right Medicare plan (or plans) for you.

Review Your Healthcare Needs

Everyone’s body and mind are unique. What works for you may not work for someone else. As a result, you shouldn’t assume that there is a one-size-fits-all Medicare option. Instead, you and your doctor will need to evaluate your individual healthcare needs to help you choose the best plan for you. Based on your medical history, preexisting conditions, and family health history, you may need a plan that offers better coverage for certain conditions. For example, some people opt for a Medicare Advantage plan to get additional coverage like vision, dental, and hearing.

Evaluate Your Budget

Generally, Medicare is the most affordable health insurance option for older adults. However, some Medicare plans are more expensive than others. For example, many people don’t have to pay a premium for Part A, but the deductible is relatively high. Alternatively, Part B has a higher monthly premium with a very low deductible. There are also Medicare Supplement (Medigao) plans to help with some of these costs. Thus, you’ll need to evaluate your budget to see how much you can reasonably spend on healthcare each month, quarter, and year.

Know the Medicare Open Enrollment Timeline

It’s pointless to prepare for Medicare shopping if you don’t know when to obtain a new Medicare plan. Fortunately, we are currently in the middle of the 2020 Medicare Open Enrollment (MOE) period. This period lasts from October 15 until December 7. If you want to switch to a different Medicare plan and have it go into effect on January 1, 2021, you’ll need to make the change before December 7, 2020. Otherwise, you might need to wait a full year to make any changes.

The Bottom Line

Medicare does not have to be complicated. Shopping for the right Medicare plan just requires a little bit of preparation, as well as an understanding of your health needs and budget. Once you have adequately prepared, you’ll be ready to find the perfect Medicare plan in no time!

If you’d like to learn more about shopping for Medicare or your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out this form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.