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How to Choose a Medicare Plan

Posted on November 22, 2021 by Kyle Walton

Choosing a Medicare Plan: What’s the best fit for me?

Medicare is undoubtedly a wonderful resource for seniors and qualifying disabled individuals who require a little extra assistance with their healthcare costs following retirement or diagnosis. That said, it should be noted that there are many Medicare myths, and Medicare is not a one-size-fits-all program.

Depending on your specific level of need and the costs associated with your healthcare, there are many different parts of Medicare that may be useful (or sometimes, entirely necessary) for you to have. One such example of additional healthcare coverage plans include Medicare Part C, which is often known as Medicare Advantage.

What should I consider when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan?

Medicare Advantage plans can be a great healthcare coverage option if you are looking to get Medicare Part A and B coverage in addition to more comprehensive benefits for additional treatments and services you may require, often including dental, vision, hearing, and prescription medication coverage.

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private, Medicare-approved insurance providers. This means that although their exact benefits, pricing, and availability may vary, they are required by law to provide at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare.

As long as you stay within the pre-approved network of healthcare providers, Medicare Advantage plans will often set a limit on what you can be asked to pay out-of-pocket for each of your covered services.

However, before deciding which Medicare Advantage plan is right for you, there are a few things that you are strongly encouraged to consider.

Review your medical history with your doctor.

Before making any concrete decisions regarding choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll want to be sure that all of your current or possible conditions will be covered to some degree. For example, if you currently have a condition such as diabetes, it is important that you select a plan that will help you manage this disorder without costing you more than you can afford.

This means sitting down with your doctor or other healthcare providers and making a comprehensive list of your current medical conditions and projected medical needs. Usually, this includes not only a review of your own health history, but the health history of your family as well.

Review your current and projected healthcare budget.

Speaking of making sure you can afford your healthcare coverage, it is especially important to review your average medical expenses and your retirement budget in detail in order to ensure you will not go broke trying to keep up with your healthcare costs and your health insurance premiums

Make sure you have access to your medical records (you can get them from your insurance company or your doctor’s office) and take a look at the average out-of-pocket costs associated with your care. Factor this into your budget planning when considering making a change to your existing Medicare coverage or when thinking about enrolling in a new Medicare Advantage plan.

Compare as many Medicare Advantage plans as possible.

When it comes to choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, there are so many unique options to explore. Due to their status as privately-offered plans, no two are truly alike. For example, some plans offer non-emergency coverage out-of-network at a higher cost, while others charge differently based on the types of service and treatment you receive.

There are many different classifications of Medicare Advantage plans, including HMO, PPO, PFFS, SNP, and HMO-POS. You can learn about the subtle differences between these types of plans right here as you continue to weigh your options.

Review the benefits of Original Medicare.

Sometimes, your medical budget, lifestyle, or healthcare history is such that Original Medicare Parts A and B do provide the perfect amount of coverage for you. Still, many seniors are under the assumption that all of their needs are covered simply because they are enrolled in Original Medicare, only to discover this is not the case when they receive a substantial doctor, hospital, or provider bill for non-covered services.

If you don’t want to find yourself in that situation, you should make absolutely sure that you understand what your Original Medicare coverage will and will not pay for when it comes to your medical treatments and services. Before deciding to stick with Original Medicare alone, it is important that you have all your healthcare bases covered in the event that a need for non-covered care strikes unexpectedly.

Who can help me choose a Medicare plan?

Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. Luckily, there are many great resources available that can help you research and compare all of the available options in your area before you make this important decision.

At MedicareInsurance.com, our licensed insurance agents have years of experience helping people find Medicare coverage that works for them. Our friendly insurance experts can provide free insurance quotes and insight that can go a long way in helping you make your ultimate decision.

About the Author

Kyle Walton

Kyle is a professional writer with several years of experience helping to inform the public on many diverse topics and industries, including healthcare. He is a Kutztown University graduate, Class of 2017.

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