How Do I Compare Medicare Plans?

There are numerous Medicare plans available, each with its benefits. Use the following guidelines to compare the costs and coverage of each plan to find one that meets your health requirements. 

1.Consider your preferences. 

A PPO plan is a better alternative than an HMO if you see specialists regularly and don’t want to acquire a referral for every single visit. An HMO may be cheaper if you are a “light” health care consumer who only sees your primary care provider.

2.Check the figures. 

The premium for a plan and the maximum out-of-pocket cost, which is the most you’ll pay in a year for covered health care, are the two key charges to consider. Plans with lower out-of-pocket maximums have higher premiums, whereas those with higher out-of-pocket maximums have lower premiums.

3.Compare and contrast your healthcare providers. 

You’ll probably want a plan covering all of your caregivers and medical facilities if you have a regular network. It is your responsibility to determine whether the doctors, specialists and facilities accept the Medicare Advantage plan you are considering.

4.Do some research.

Go to the provider’s website and understand all of the perks — and limits — before you buy. You should think about them if you have a need. However, these additional benefits are frequently limited, so double-check your plan.

5.Think about your medications. 

You can enter your usual prescriptions into the plan comparison tool and some private comparison sites to assess plan coverage and cost.

6.Look for the star rating

Medicare gathers information on Medicare Advantage plans from member surveys, the plans themselves, and healthcare providers, then assigns a star rating based on the information. It’s based on a variety of quality measures, such as ‘How responsive is the plan to any concerns or questions?'” The star rating scale ranges from 1 to 5, with 5 being exceptional.

Ask yourself the the following questions: 

  • Which is more important to you in a Medicare plan? Cost, coverage, or convenience?
  • Will you be able to choose your healthcare providers? 
  • Will the plan you select meet your needs? How do the plan’s quality ratings stack up against others in your neighborhood and on a national level? 
  • What will the cost of your medical care and prescription medicines be? 
  • Will you be covered if you travel frequently or for extended periods away from home?

When will you be able to enroll? 

You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (or switch from one to another) during the following times: 

  • During your initial enrollment period. 
  • Every year during the Advanced Enrollment Period, from October 15 to December 7. 
  • You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another during open enrollment, which runs from January 1 to March 31 (although you can’t enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan if you don’t already have one). 

If you’re switching plans, your old one will be deactivated once your new one starts.

If you have any questions about the process, call us at 503-928-6918.

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