The Dos and Don’ts of Choosing a Medicare Plan
When it comes time to choosing a Medicare plan, it can be difficult to know which type of coverage is best for you. We understand how complicated insurance plans can be, especially when you are an older adult in need of frequent medical care and prescription drugs. The important thing to remember is that different plans can be better or worse for your needs, and you can always seek advice from an experienced Grand Rapids Medicare planning lawyer.
According to a fact sheet from Medicare.gov and a pamphlet from the AARP Foundation, there are a number of questions that you should ask before choosing or changing your Medicare coverage. To better understand some of the questions you should be asking (and the types of answers you should be seeking), we would like to discuss some helpful “Dos and Don’ts” when it comes to selecting or changing your Medicare coverage.
Take the Following Questions Into Account When Choosing Medicare Coverage
What should you absolutely do before you select or change your Medicare coverage? The following tips from Medicare.gov and the AARP Foundation can help:
- Inquire about how your specific medical needs will be covered by different plans;
- If you visit your doctors’ offices with some frequency, do choose a plan that is most economically efficient in terms of monthly premiums and deductibles (keep in mind that lower monthly premiums usually mean higher deductibles, but if you go to the doctor enough, it might make sense to pay a higher monthly premium for a lower deductible amount);
- Choose a plan with coverage that your doctors already accept, as you likely will not want to change physicians simply because you have selected a new insurance plan;
- Find out if the plan you are considering will require you to get a referral in order to visit a specialist;
- Ask about whether your current prescriptions are on the drug list of the plan you are considering (this is also known as a “formulary”);
- Inquire about whether you will need to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan;
- If you already have prescription drug coverage, do learn more about whether you will have to pay a penalty if you join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan later on;
- Find out how much your prescription drugs will cost under the plans you are considering;
- Choose a plan that allows you to visit doctor’s offices and pharmacies that are nearby;
- Ask if your plan’s coverage will continue if you travel outside of Michigan, including within the U.S. and outside the country; and
- Last but not least, do seek help from an experienced Grand Rapids Medicare planning law firm.
Do Not Enter into a Plan Without Understanding Its Costs and Benefits
What should you avoid when choosing a Medicare plan? Based on the “Dos” we listed above, you might be able to guess as some of the “Don’ts,” but in brief, do not do any of the following when selecting a Medicare plan:
- Do not choose a plan that will cost you more money in the long run;
- Do not choose a plan that will prevent you from seeing your doctors or visiting your regular pharmacy;
- Do not choose a plan that has a poor rating; and
- Do not make a decision without consulting with an experienced elder law attorney.
Contact a Medicare Planning Attorney in Grand Rapids, MI
At The Law Offices Of David L. Carrier P.C., we know that a person’s choice in Medicare plan can have a significant impact on the type and quality of care they end up receiving. If you have questions about choosing the Medicare plan that is best for you, one of our dedicated Grand Rapids Medicare planning attorneys can help. Contact us today to discuss your options.