Medicare Enrollment – What to Think About
Medicare’s open enrollment season will close on December 7th. You still have time to make several changes. You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage; you can shift from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare; you can trade one Medicare Advantage policy for another; and you can buy a different Part D prescription drug plan.
Choosing among the various options and plans can be daunting. But a little bit of homework can reveal the many factors that can help shape your decisions. Think of Medicare as a buffet. You’ll want to pick the options that you can afford and that will meet your health needs.
Here are some questions that can help in your decision making:
– Do you want to keep your doctors or are you open to changing?
– Do you have a preexisting condition?
– Are you taking medications regularly?
– Are you willing to change pharmacies?
– Do you expect to travel around the country or abroad?
– Do you plan to spend more time at your second home?
– Do you live in a rural area?
– Are you worried about what you can afford, from premiums to out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles?
– Are you eligible for Medicaid or other assistance programs?
– Do you have health insurance through your job or are you covered by your spouse’s plan?
– Are you insured through the Affordable Care Act individual marketplace, a retiree health plan, military plan or COBRA (the temporary coverage that people can buy when they leave a job)?
The answers to these questions can help you take stock of your current coverage, determine whether it falls short — or is just right — and pinpoint where you might want to make an adjustment or two. Your decision should be based on your anticipated best choices for your health, your lifestyle and your pocketbook.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164
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