For decades, Americans aged 65 or older have enjoyed numerous Medicare benefits. The federal health insurance program has different parts that provide specific coverages and come with unique terms and conditions. This is why it’s wise to take your time and explore your options before signing up for a plan.
Here are some Medicare coverage tips to help you select the right plan for your health needs.
Know Your Coverage Needs
Your coverage requirements should come before everything else when selecting a Medicare plan. Before the next enrollment period, consider whether you need to change your current healthcare provider. Your lifestyle, such as regular travel or vacationing, can also help determine what plan is right for you. Above all else, consider your health requirements, including how often you need to see a doctor or any prescription medication you use regularly.
Review Your Existing Health Insurance Policy
If you already have coverage that you wish to continue using along with Medicare, be sure to review it. You might find coverage gaps that need closing. Also, it’s important to assess the compatibility of your existing plan with Medicare. Maybe you can speak with your benefits representative for help getting the most out of both.
Decide on Providers
Some Medicare plans don’t let new members keep their existing doctors. While standard Medicare may let you stay with your current provider, an HMO Advantage plan has its own network of approved providers. A PPO Advantage plan allows you to get seen by out-of-network doctors, but this flexibility comes with higher out-of-pocket costs.
Get Coverage for Prescription Medication
If you’re regularly using prescription drugs due to a medical condition, you should choose a plan that supports this requirement. Medicare Part A pays for inpatient care and other basic benefits, but it doesn’t cover drugs. While Part B covers medical supplies, it also doesn’t pay for prescription drugs. If you need medicines coverage, you should consider purchasing Medicare Part D or combine your plan with Medicare Advantage.
Regular Travel or Second Home
With some Medicare plans, traveling far away from home may place you out of certain coverage benefits. Traditional Medicare is a bit flexible as it’ll still cover you in most locations wherever you travel throughout the country. Also, it doesn’t confine you to a primary care doctor or require referrals for specialist care. However, HMO and PPO Medicare Advantage plans may not work for you if you travel frequently or stay in your second home for lengthy periods. These programs only cover select regional locations and may leave you exposed to out-of-pocket medical expenses when you’re on an extended trip far away.
Also, if you visit an out-of-network physician, you may still need to coordinate care with your primary care doctor to be covered by an HMO or PPO Medicare Advantage plan. You’re probably better off with a traditional Medicare plan if you’re looking to optimize health coverage as a frequent traveler.
Choosing the right Medicare plan for your health needs can be tricky because of the several coverage options involved and the varying benefits. If you’re about to enroll in Medicare, consider consulting a licensed and certified medicare agent for help making the right choice. At Medicare Advisors, we have the relevant expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your federal health insurance plan. Contact us now to get started.