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October 28, 2020 | Tags: Medicare

Are you ready for this year’s Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) beginning on Oct. 15? If you still need to choose a plan, or are considering switching, here are three important questions to ask yourself.

1. What is my budget?

As you may remember from the A, B, Cs – and Ds – of Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans have a monthly premium, sometimes as low as $0. So, while you must continue to pay your MedicarePart B premium, budget-friendly options are available for Medicare Advantage plans.

Before you finalize your choice, make sure you know the full amount you’ll need to pay each month in premiums, as well as estimated costs that could come up over the year — including copays, coinsurance and deductibles — to see what you can afford.

2. Do I need prescription drug coverage?

If you take prescription medications, your answer to this question will most likely be yes. Look at the formulary — list of covered drugs — offered by each plan. You can find formularies on insurance companies’ websites, or you can give them a call to request a formulary or ask to check on a particular medication. Check that the medications you take are on the list so you can get the most out of your prescription drug coverage.

Remember: Standalone Medicare prescription drug plans are known as Medicare Part D plans. Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans don’t include Part D coverage, so you would need to buy a standalone Part D plan to get coverage for your medications. Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans include Part D coverage as part of the standard benefit offering.

3. Is my doctor part of the network?

While Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans allow you to go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans have specific networks of covered providers. So, before you make a decision, confirm that your physicians, specialists or other providers such as hospitals and clinics are included in your plan’s network. Again, you can check the insurance company’s website or call its customer service numbers.

Once you’ve considered your answers to these questions, you’ll be in a good position to choose the Medicare plan that’s right for you. To get the most out of your plan, there are a few other things to consider. For example, you may be wondering how to get care when you’re away from home.

  • Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans provide coverage anywhere in the United States
  • Many Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans offer coverage for emergency/urgent care outside of the United States – call the insurance company to check
  • Many plans offer additional options for receiving care when you travel, such as making virtual telehealth (telemedicine) appointments

For more on comparing plans and considering your options, visit Medicare.gov, check the Medical Mutual website, or like our Facebook page to see the latest updates in this series.

You can talk to a Medical Mutual licensed insurance agent who can answer your questions by calling (866) 406-8777 (hearing impaired TTY/TDD: 711) or call your insurance agent. You can also visit Medicare.gov for more information.

This site contains a summary of benefits only describing our policies’ most important features. It is not an insurance policy or contract.  The Medical Mutual Medicare Supplement Insurance policy is the insurance contract. If there is any different between this site and the policy, the provisions of the policy will control.

Neither Medical Mutual nor any of its agents or Medicare Supplement insurance plans are connected with or endorsed by the U.S. or state government, Social Security or federal Medicare program. Individuals who call the phone number listed will speak with a licensed insurance agent.

This policy has exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call or write your insurance agent or Medical Mutual.

Medicare Supplement products marketed by Medical Mutual will be underwritten by Medical Health Insuring Corporation of Ohio. Contact will be made by a licensed insurance agent or insurer. The amount of benefits provided depends upon the plan selected and the premium will vary with the amount of the benefits selected. Medical Mutual is a registered trademark of Medical Mutual of Ohio.

 

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