Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Three Considerations in Medicare Choices

If you are a senior citizen, this year the Annual Enrollment Period begins on October 15, 2011 and ends on December 7, 2011. During this time you can change from one Medicare Advantqage Plan to another, change back to Original Medicare and choose a Prescription Drug Plan, or choose a Medicare Supplement Plan and a Prescription Drup Plan. Changes you make during this time will bwecome effective January 1st.

In making your choices regarding your Medicare plan, take these three things into consideration:
  • the overall cost of the plan, 
  • whether it covers doctors and hospitals with which you are comfortable, 
  • and the quality of the plan.
Make your decision by looking at all three of these elements and see what, on balance, is best for you.

Rest assured that all Medicare plans have a guaranteed set of benefits, whether traditional or Medicare Advantage. But there are still pitfalls.

If you make a Medicare Advantage choice and you don't realize you've agreed to a limited network of doctors and hospitals, and you suddenly go to a different doctor or hospital, you could wind up with a very big bill that you would have to pay out of pocket.

Changes are not as drastic this year, but all plans have a different mix of costs every year. So, you really have to make the same evaluation every year, in order to figure out what is going to be the best combination of benefits and costs that meet your needs.

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