Medicare benefits over 50 million Americans by providing much-needed healthcare coverage. Plan details, formularies, processes and requirements outlined by healthcare policies, however, can be confusing. It’s a challenge to make sure you have what you need. Selecting inadequate coverage and experiencing unexpected healthcare costs also can lead to stress and financial difficulties.
But there are objective and impartial resources available, including Medicare plan selection services that can help you determine what will best fit your needs. At the same time, it’s increasingly important to understand the type of guidance you’re receiving. For example, you want to find a company that does not accept any fees or commissions from insurance providers. The service should also not sell Medicare plans.
You should start with a simple choice at the beginning, and that’s deciding between two primary paths of coverage. Traditional Medicare and Medicare Part D, with or without Medigap: One option is to choose traditional Medicare, which includes hospital insurance, or Part A, and medical services insurance, or Part B. Combined, this is the traditional package of basic coverage many people select and use.
When you choose traditional Medicare, you also need to purchase prescription drug coverage or a Medicare Part D plan. Although Part D is voluntary, if you don’t choose a Part D plan when you’re first eligible and want to buy one later, you may have to pay a penalty to do so. You also have the option of purchasing a Medicare supplement plan, or Medigap, which can help cover additional healthcare expenses.
Medicare Advantage: A second option is to choose a Medicare Advantage plan or Part C plan. Generally, this type of plan provides the coverage that you would get under Parts A and B. Your prescription drug coverage or Part D also may be included in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare: A Personal Choice
Keep in mind, Medicare coverage selection is a personal decision that depends on your specific healthcare and financial needs. Just as medication may be prescribed for your health, your Medicare coverage should be designed to fit your health needs.
This is another reason it can be beneficial and critical to receive assistance with your Medicare plan selection. An impartial Medicare plan selection service can help you understand and choose the most affordable and appropriate Medicare coverage for your healthcare needs.
Because you may be choosing from the options mentioned above, including traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, a Medicare plan selection service is designed to help you identify what works best in your situation. In some cases, for example, traditional Medicare is sufficient, so the most important decision to make during Medicare annual enrollment may be selecting a prescription drug or Medicare Part D plan.