Medicare Your Coverage Options

Two questions you should answer during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Written by Diane Archer
For anyone on Medicare and many caregivers, Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period is a time to reconsider coverage options. The open enrollment period runs between October 15th and December 7th this year. Here are two questions you should answer during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period:
1. Is your Medicare doctor and hospital coverage meeting your needs?
  • If you’re in traditional Medicare and have supplemental coverage, you might be paying a little more than if you are in a private Medicare Advantage plan, but you have the widest choice of hospitals and doctors. And, you have good protection against health and financial risk.
  • If you’re in a private Medicare plan, you might save some money upfront, but you have a limited group of doctors and hospitals you can use. If you end up needing a lot of health care, it’s hard to know whether the doctors or hospitals in the health plan’s network will meet your needs. If you use out-of-network doctors and hospitals, you will likely spend a lot out of pocket for that care, more than your costs in traditional Medicare with a Medicare supplemental plan. Also, if you will be traveling out of area and you need care, it’s not likely your care will be covered, except in emergencies or urgent care situations.

2. Is your Medicare (Part D) drug coverage meeting your needs? If you have Part D drug coverage, you should consider your options and not assume that the plan you have is still the one that you want or will cover the same drugs with the same cost sharing next year. The Part D plans often change the drugs they cover and the terms under which they cover drugs from one year to the next, as well as midyear sometimes. What makes sense this year may not make much sense at all next year. In 2015, the average monthly premium nationally is $32.

To compare Medicare plan benefits and cost, visit the Open Enrollment Center page on the Medicare website.

1 Comment

  • We need to revise our tax code, so that we can afford Medicare for All, not just for seniors or those on disability. This new Medicare would pay for all needed medical/surgical care without the, often cost prohibitive, supplemental plans.
    As it is now our nation has the best health care in the world……………IF you are either a multimillionaire or a billionaire. If you are the average “Joe or Jane,” you and or your partner cab be impoverished if you become seriously ill, are in an accident, or need long term care.

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