Whether you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, there’s never a bad time to review your options. We are currently in the middle of the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which means that you can easily switch plans until March 31, 2021. Unfortunately, many people assume that once they choose a plan, it will be the best plan for the rest of their lives. In many cases, this is simply not true. Let’s look at the top 3 reasons you should shop for a new Medicare plan!
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Medicare is designed to save older adults money on their healthcare costs. However, this doesn’t mean that every plan will offer low premiums, copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance fees. Additionally, you may have a plan that doesn’t cover a regular treatment you need. Even if a new plan has higher premiums, you could end up saving money if it covers an expensive treatment that you need on a continual basis. So, always be sure to evaluate every plan based on your personal health needs, your budget, and the plan’s base costs to see when and where you can save money.
One of the biggest drawbacks of Original Medicare is the lack of prescription drug coverage. While you can add a Part D plan to your coverage, it can make it less convenient to manage your health coverage. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you can easily manage all of your healthcare (including prescription drugs) in one plan. Additionally, Medicare Advantage offers varied plans offering deals on prescription drugs that may fit your needs better than standard Part D. Prescription drugs can quickly become one of the most expensive parts of your healthcare budget, so make sure that you have a plan that’s actually covering what you need.
Most Medicare plans have some kind of network of doctors, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities. If you use a doctor within your network, you’ll likely be covered. However, many plans offer little or no coverage for out-of-network treatment. For example, Original Medicare only covers out-of-network treatment if it qualifies as an emergency. If you happen to experience a medical emergency outside of the United States, you will only be covered if you have a Medigap plan or certain Medicare Advantage plans.
What does all this mean? It means that if you want to use certain doctors or pharmacies, you may need to shop around to find a plan that includes them. Alternatively, you can look for a plan that covers both in-network and out-of-network treatment.
Getting stuck with the same plan year in and year out can get old. After a while, your health and budgetary needs will almost certainly change. As a result, you should evaluate your options to make sure you’re getting the best Medicare plan for you!