You have lots of choices when it comes to selecting a Medicare plan. No one plan works for everyone – coverage levels and options vary from plan to plan, and plans may update their coverage levels each year. That’s why it’s important to give your Medicare coverage an annual “check up.” Now is the time, during Medicare’s open enrollment period, October 15 – December 7, 2017.
Here are some things to keep in mind when considering your options:
Does the plan cover the services you need?
Future health care needs can be hard to predict, but changes happen. Make sure you understand what services and benefits you’re likely to use in the coming year and find coverage that meets your needs. If you have other types of health or prescription drug coverage, make sure you understand how that coverage works with Medicare. And, if you travel a lot, look to see if your plan covers you when you’re away from home.
No matter what plan you pick, you’ll get these benefits:
- A discount of 65% on covered brand-name drugs if you reach the Part D prescription drug coverage gap (“donut hole”)
- A free yearly “wellness” visit, so you can sit down with your doctor and talk about your health concerns and the best ways to stay healthy
- A host of preventive tests and screenings—including cancer screenings—most at no cost to you
What’s the cost?
The lowest-cost health plan option might not be the best choice for you—consider things like the cost of premiums and deductibles, how much you pay for hospital stays and doctor visits, and whether it’s important for you to have expenses balanced throughout the year.
How about convenience?
Your time is valuable. Ask yourself these questions: Where are the doctors’ offices? What are their hours? Which pharmacies can you use? Can you get prescriptions by mail? Do the doctors use electronic health records or prescribe electronically?
Quality is important!
Not all health care is created equal, and the doctors, hospitals and facilities you choose can impact your health. Open enrollment is also a good time to ask yourself whether you’re truly satisfied with your medical care. Look for plans with a 5 star performance rating—the right expertise and care can make a difference.
Remember, even if you’re happy with your current plan, these answers might change from year to year, so it’s important to take the time to compare. The Medicare Plan Finder makes it easy to compare plans based on all of these factors, so you can pick a plan that meets your needs.
Information provided by CMS
Need more help?
Attend one of these Medicare Check-up Days presented by the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP).
|Date and Time||Location||Details|
|Otterbein Lebanon Lifestyle Community
585 North State Rt. 741
Lebanon, OH 45036
|To schedule a counseling appointment call (513) 696-8560|
|Green Township Senior Center
3620 Epley Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45247
|To schedule a counseling appointment call (513) 385-3780|
|Miami Township Civic Center
6101 Meijer Drive
Milford, OH 45150
|Warren County Community Services
570 North State Rt. 741
Lebanon, OH 45036
|To schedule a counseling appointment call (513) 508-0860|
|Sharonville Community Center
10990 Thornview Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45241
|To schedule a counseling appointment call (513) 563-2895|
Those unable to attend a Medicare Check-Up Day event can contact OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Information, including specific plan details, is available at www.medicare.gov.
What Should You Know Before Signing Up for Medicare? (Series of Q&As from Consumer Reports)