3 Questions to Ask Yourself When New to Medicare



If you're new to Medicare, you probably have a lot of questions about which coverage is right for you. You see all the advertisements, all the other plans that are being promoted and suggested. On top of that, your friends are telling you the plan that worked for them. It can be really hard to know what plan to pick with all this clutter and picking the wrong plan could be detrimental. To help with that we’ve got three important questions you should be asking yourself when new to Medicare.  

1. Do I need extra coverage? If you are working past 65 and you're gonna stay on, your employer plan then possibly no, you don't. If you are going full-on Medicare A and B, then we definitely recommend some coverage to work with or in place of Medicare because original Medicare A and B just doesn't cut it for most folks in terms of coverage and out-of-pocket costs. Also, in just having A and B you don't have any prescription drug coverage, so you can be penalized. It's a pretty big risk in today's healthcare world to only have parts A and B, so you have options to get additional coverage. Additional coverage options consist of Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and prescription drug plans. These are all types of plans that you can purchase in addition to, or in place of Original Medicare, A and B. Medicare Advantage plans, often the ones advertised and pushed by celebrities, are private insurance plans that are endorsed by Medicare. These plans have the name Medicare part C because they replace Medicare A and B. These plans must be as good as at least original Medicare, A and B, and they often come with some additional benefits like gym memberships, eyeglass discounts, over the counter coupons, or spending cards. If you go with the Medicare Supplement route, these are plans that work in conjunction with A and B. So, what you would do is keep Medicare A and B, then enroll in a supplement plan, which pays after Medicare A and B pay. Together, with original Medicare and a supplement plan they provide nice, comprehensive coverage. In that case, you'd also need a prescription drug plan, some extra coverage for your medications, typically a low premium plan that will help cover your medications. So question number one, do I need extra coverage? If you're on Medicare A and B we think yes. There are a lot of good inexpensive plans up there, even if you're healthy. Even if you're healthy and you don't plan on doing much doctoring, you can get some additional coverage that will work with A and B for a very low monthly cost. 

2. What are my network needs? Do you want to spend the winters down south? Do you have a family that lives in California or Colorado or New York? And you wanna spend time in those places? This is really important because different types of Medicare plans have different network limits. So, if you are on a Medicare Advantage plan, specifically on the HMO version of that, typically those have very restrictive networks and you will only receive coverage for routine care in network. Some of them have some emergency care outside of the network, but these are important things to know when signing up for an advantage plan. If it’s a PPO advantage plan, those typically have broader networks, but more out-of-pocket costs or copays deductibles when you are using them. So, if you travel a lot, then maybe a Medicare supplement is the right choice for you, as it works with Medicare. This means Medicare is the primary and is accepted in all 50 states. So, that might be a better option if you're traveling to a lot of different places. Whether you travel or not, if you have doctors you want to see, if you have primary care providers, specialists, if you're being doctored for something, then yes, of course, you need to make sure that you’ll be able to go to these providers.

3.What are my healthcare needs? If you are 65 and haven't been to a doctor in five years and have no health issues, that might direct you to one type of plan. If you have to visit the doctor more frequently, you might need another plan. You need to know what type of doctoring you plan on doing. If you are doing physical therapy or getting blood work done quarterly, these types of things are really important to know so that you are not having a lot of high out-of-pocket costs when it comes to expected costs. The flip side of that is the unexpected cost, which is what insurance is all about. It is protecting you from unexpected risks. Maybe you haven't been to the doctor in five years, but you don't know what the future holds. This is where working with an advisor like us, where we can show you a plan that that gives you really good coverage or good coverage for a lower premium, and find that sweet spot that meets your budget, your healthcare needs, your network needs, and more.

Wherever you wanna be in your retirement, we'll get a plan that works for you. We always promise two things when calling us. Number one is that it’s entirely free to you. Number two is that it’s always less than an hour. We'll get you all squared away for your Medicare coverage and whatever your future holds. Our number is 1-800-784-8969.

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