Common misconceptions about Medicare

There are many factors to consider so that you get the Medicare plan that best meets your health and budget needs. To navigate your health care options during this year’s annual enrollment period, it is important to remember what not to do.

When researching Medicare plans, people often focus on premiums and medical provider networks, but may not realize there’s more to consider. Knowing the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, both of which offer enhancements to Original Medicare, will also be pivotal in your decision making.

While Medicare Advantage provides the same coverage as Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans often also include predictable copayments, lower or no deductibles, Part D prescription drug coverage, out-of-pocket limits for financial protection, and low or even zero monthly plan premiums.

Some of these plans offer additional features designed to meet members’ needs, such as dental, hearing and vision coverage, a nurse advice line available 24 hours a day/7 days a week and fitness programs.

Here are five common hiccups Medicare beneficiaries may experience when considering their options in search of a Medicare Advantage plan that will help them achieve better health and well-being:

Your monthly payments are not the only thing to consider. While it’s tempting to gravitate to a $0 or low-premium monthly plan, it’s easy to overlook extra costs that can be incurred down the road, such as for hospital stays and medical procedures. After you analyze your previous year’s plan and assess the most affordable option for the coming year, consider the total value of the Medicare plan you select, along with your health, medical and budget needs for the coming year.

Your drug coverage is not the same everywhere. Surprisingly, drug prices can vary depending on your location, pharmacy and how much you’ve used your prescription benefits over the course of the year. Be diligent by making a list of your medications; researching drug formularies – the list of drugs a Medicare prescription plan covers; and considering mail-order as you evaluate your prescription drug plan options. Some plans may offer lower costs if certain pharmacies are used…

Read full story at thepress.net

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