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4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Comparing Medicare Coverage Options

By September 22, 2020December 31st, 2020Health Insurance Medicare
An older couple speaks with a Medicare advocate

Have you ever heard of the Enneagram personality test? The test presents a series of questions to help you find out which of nine personality types you are. Knowing your personality type, or Enneagram, is said to improve your self-awareness and help you understand your approach to the world.

And while your Enneagram type won’t help you shop for a Medicare plan, the Enneagram practice of answering questions to reach better self-awareness holds some weight. As you enter the world of Medicare, you will find that knowing yourself and your health care needs will help you as you compare Medicare coverage options and find the plan that’s right for you.

1. Where and When Should I Start?

Between now and the time you become eligible for Medicare (typically your 65th birthday), examine your current health coverage. What type of plan do you have? Are you happy with the coverage, or is there something you’d like to improve or change? Then, think about what kind of coverage you want moving forward. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there added benefits that are important to you that Original Medicare doesn’t cover? For example, fitness memberships and coverage for dentures or hearing aids.
  • If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, what’s more important: Having the flexibility and freedom to choose any provider, or saving money by using providers and hospitals within a plan’s network?

2. What Should I Look for in a Medicare Plan?

When comparing Medicare plans, you should focus on the three Ps: premium, prescriptions, and providers.  Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Premium — What do I pay now? What can I afford in the future?
  • Prescriptions — Are prescription drugs covered and does the plan’s drug formulary, or list of covered drugs, include the drugs I take today?
  • Providers — Do I want a plan with a network of providers or one that offers me freedom to choose any provider?

3. How Do I Know If I’m Getting the Right Plan at the Right Price for Me?

There are many types of plans and prices to choose from. Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private insurance companies, with varying costs and benefits. There are even plans with $0 premiums. In the case of $0 premium plans, the federal government pays the health plan to cover all Medicare services, plus extra benefits that your current plan may not include, such as dental, hearing aids, eyewear, chiropractic, and podiatry benefits.

4. Whom Should I Turn to for Help?

If you need help sorting out the details and deciding whether a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you, call your current insurance provider and ask questions specific to your health care needs. You can also contact Medicare for more information, or talk to an independent broker to learn more about your options before deciding on a plan.

Still need help? Visit ibxmedicare.com to learn more about our Medicare Advantage, MedigapSecurity, and Medicare Supplement plans.

Website last updated: 2/26/2020

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Theresa Lauer

About Theresa Lauer

Theresa Lauer is the Director of Medicare Broker Sales for Independence Blue Cross. She is a long-time leader in cultivating, developing, managing, and leading profitable sales programs. In her current role, Theresa and her team forge new opportunities each day within the Independence five-county southeastern PA area.