Choosing A Medicare Plan

When it comes to selecting a Medicare plan, many people wonder if they’ll ever get all the options straight. Don’t despair! There are a variety of resources available to help you. The information on our site is comprehensive and designed to provide the information you need.

To begin, take the time to ask yourself some questions about your lifestyle and your medical needs. Let’s get started.

Types of Medicare Plans

Be sure you understand the difference between the two types of Medicare plans: Medicare Supplemental and Medicare Advantage. Even though the plans are similar, they are not the same and they work differently. Here are a few things to ask yourself before you make your final decision about the Medicare plan for you.

  • Do your current physicians or physicians you visit for a pre-existing condition participate in a Medicare Advantage plan or do they accept only Original Medicare?
  • Do you have preferred hospitals?
  • Are you a frequent traveler? If you regularly travel out of your area, Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement might be the best choice for you since you have flexibility in the choice of doctors and hospitals who accept Medicare.
  • Do you spend a significant amount on healthcare? If you do, can you pay the out-of-pocket expenses you might have with a Medicare Advantage plan?
  • Will a lower premium ease your mind? If you’ll be more comfortable knowing your premium is low and you can pay for services as you use them, you might want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan. However, if you worry about unexpected expenses, a Supplemental plan could be a better choice for you. You would know exactly what you’ll spend regardless of any health condition.

Choosing A Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Plan

In 1990 the federal government standardized supplemental plans to make it easier to compare the benefits. There are 10 different supplemental plans, lettered A-N. Regardless of what private insurance company you choose, the plan benefits are the same.

Consider at least 3 different insurance companies to get the best rate for the plan you want. Supplemental premiums are also effected by gender, age, zip code, tobacco use, and household discounts. Certain states have rules that can affect your premiums as well. Three supplemental, or Medigap plans, have been gaining in popularity recently.

Medicare Supplement Plan F

Plan F pays 100% of the costs Medicare would normally pass on to you. You do not pay deductibles or copays. As of January 2020 this plan will no longer be sold to anyone that was not Medicare eligible as of 1/1/2020.

Medicare Supplement Plan G

Plan G works the same as Plan F, paying all your deductibles and copays, with the exception of your Part B deductible. With Plan G, you pay the annual Part B deductible, currently $198. After the deductible is met, Plan G will pay everything else. You may save more than the $198 deductible under Plan G.

Medicare Supplement Plan N

First offered in 2010, this plan’s premiums are usually lower than either Plan F or Plan G, but you pay more out-of-pocket for medical services. You pay up to a $20 copay for each doctor visit and you pay up to $50 for each Emergency Room visit.

You may also be responsible for something called an Excess Charge. This is when a doctor bills 15% more than Medicare will pay. You will have to pay the 15% charge out-of-pocket.

Choosing A Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Advantage plans are private health insurance plans which are Medicare-approved. You can get your Parts A, B, and D from an Advantage plan rather than Original Medicare. These plans were originally called Part C. Under these Advantage plans, Medicare will pay a fixed amount for your medical services in Parts A and B.

To learn more about the Medicare Advantage plans, you can use the official government website to review the options. Visit www.medicare.gov and use the Medicare Plan Finder tool to search for Advantage plans in your state or county that match your preferences and needs.

There are three types of Medicare Advantage plans to choose from: HMO, PPO, and PPFS.

HMO – Many people prefer Medicare HMO plans for the lowest premium costs. This is a managed care plan.

PPO – These plans are more flexible with out-of-network options if needed. Depending on your state or county, there may be other plans to select from such as Medicare Cost, Special Needs, and PFFS plans.

PFFS – The two features most people favor are the ability to see any doctor in the US and that you can choose a separate Part D drug plan.

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