Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) is a busy time. You have a window of time between October 15 and December 7 to choose your Medicare coverage for the next year. Here in Monterey County, you have a few choices – sticking with Original Medicare only, enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan to help pay for coverage gaps, plus a Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. Or you can enroll in an Aspire Health Plan Medicare Advantage (MA) plan that includes Part D coverage.
We don’t want you to be overwhelmed or confused. As we kick off Medicare’s AEP, we wanted to share these five quick Medicare shopping tips to help you out!
1. Start with what you know.
Do you have a health condition that requires you to see a specialist often? Make sure the plan you pick covers those visits and know the co-pay or co-insurance. Do you take prescription medications? Make sure prescriptions are covered, at a co-pay you can afford.
2. Consider services you might need later.
Everyone hopes for good health. But it’s important to account for costs you might incur if your health changes, like physical therapy and specialist visits. Are there financial protections in your current plan if you had something catastrophic happen to your health?
3. Consider the big picture.
Compare monthly premiums but consider other costs, like deductibles and co-pays. A Medicare Advantage plan could save you hundreds if you see a specialist regularly and thousands if you have a serious health condition.
4. See how “extras” keep money in your pocket.
A Medicare Advantage plan goes beyond Original Medicare, adding prescription drug coverage, a fitness benefit, transportation, optional dental and vision benefits and more.
5. Chronic health conditions may require extra support.
If you have a chronic health condition, does your current coverage offer health care managers, health coaches or social workers to help navigate your health condition?
Looking for more Medicare education and information?
In addition to these five Medicare shopping tips, the Aspire Health Plan team has put together a number of resources to help you decide what kind of Medicare option is right for you:
- Comparing the differences between Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage
- Filling in the gap – MedSupp vs. Medicare Advantage
- What is missing from Original Medicare?
- Breaking down the four types of Medicare
- Understanding Medicare costs
Aspire Health Plan is a local nonprofit Medicare plan made up of members from your community. We’ve been solving Medicare for people like you by offering all-in-one coverage for more than seven years. If you have any questions about our Medicare plans for 2022, give us a call at (866) 798-1530. TTY users call 711.