If you are wondering how to choose a Medicare plan and feel like tearing your hair out, you are not alone.
We frequently hear comments from Medicare beneficiaries about how they considered themselves to be reasonably intelligent people until they started trying to figure out Medicare.
Don’t be discouraged! Medicare is confusing to many people, and we are here to help you.
How to Choose a Medicare Plan Type
There are a few considerations to keep in mind as you begin searching for Medicare supplemental insurance. First and foremost, you need to understand the difference between a Medicare supplement and a Medicare Advantage plan.
They are not the same – in fact, they work very differently. Once you understand how each plan works… ask yourself some of these questions to help you filter down to which kind of plan might best suit you:
- Do your important physicians participate in any Medicare Advantage plans or do they only accept original Medicare?
- What insurance is accepted by your preferred hospitals?
- Do you travel out of the area frequently? If so, you might find original Medicare with a Medicare supplement to be a good fit for you since you can use it for any doctor or hospital in the nation that accepts Medicare.
- What is your risk tolerance? If you have a year of heavy health spending, do you have enough savings to spend the possible out-of-pocket maximum that a Medicare Advantage plan might require?
- How about peace of mind? Are you a person who will sleep better at night if you have a lower premium and just pay for services as you go? If so, you might be a good candidate for a Medicare Advantage plan. By contrast, if you tend to worry about unexpected expenses, a Medicare supplement could give you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what medical spending you will incur regardless of your health.
Here at Boomer Benefits, we have a few resources to help you with these questions.
First, you can sign up for one of our free New to Medicare webinars. Our agency co-founder, Danielle Kunkle, goes over all the basics of Medicare in plan and simple terms. You can attend right from your home or office computer. Webinars last about an hour, and she stays to answer your questions afterward.
Second, you can visit our blog post about Medicare Advantage plans vs. Medicare Supplements (Medigap). We have a handy guide that you can download there to read later on. There are lot of great tips in here about how to choose a Medicare plan that fits you.
Once you’ve decided which route works best for you, then you can move on to quotes from insurance companies.
How to Choose a Medicare Supplement
If you decide a Medigap plan would be better for you, our agency can run a list of plans in your area. As a large Medicare insurance broker, we have the means to invest in quoting software that will show us prices for all the plans in every state.
Premiums for Medicare Supplements vary by gender, age, zip code, tobacco usage and your eligibility for household discounts. At Boomer Benefits, we look for the top 3 lowest-priced carriers for the plan you want. We then compare which of those carriers has the lowest rate increases in recent years. While there is no crystal ball, we can use this data to make the best decisions possible.
How to Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan
On the other hand, if you prefer Medicare Advantage, we like to use the www.medicare.gov website to find options. Medicare’s Plan Finder Tool will let us search for Medicare Advantage plans in your county based on your preferences. Some people prefer Medicare HMO plans for the lowest premiums. Other prefer Medicare PPO plans because they are more flexible and have out of network benefits if needed. Some counties also have other plan types like Medicare Cost plans, Special Needs Plans and PFFS plans.
Our agents are familiar with all of these and can help you sift the results to find a plan that your doctors participate in.
Get Someone on Your Side with Medicare
Our agency can help you identify which plan is right for you and how much the monthly premiums cost in your area. Working with an agent can be very helpful so that you get all the statistics you need before you decide. We have access to date like rate trend history and financial ratings for various Medicare-related insurance carriers.
Boomer Benefits is your one-stop shop for getting the information you need to decide. We assist our clients with finding plans that are accepted by their important physicians and that are also affordable for their budget.