What should I consider when reviewing Medicare plans?
Understanding the complexities of Medicare can be daunting and knowing when to start planning is crucial to avoid unnecessary costs. It is best to begin planning within six to twelve months of retirement. Below are the most important items that you should consider when you’re searching for a Medicare plan.
Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) are another time that you can enroll into Medicare and not be subject to late enrollment penalties. SEP is typically used when individuals are still working past the age of 65 or their spouse is currently working and providing health insurance for the household. Medicare will allow you to enroll with SEP anytime throughout the year, so when your coverage starts, it is based on when you start the enrollment process.
Coverage Out of State
Do you plan on traveling within the U.S. or abroad? If so, it is important to review each of the plan’s Evidence of Coverage to best understand how benefits will travel with you. Medigap plans will have open access with their network of providers and Medicare Advantage plans will typically have a specific network when you are traveling out of state.
Medications and Plan Formulary
Medications are covered different by each plan, having an impact on what you pay. Every plan will have an unique formulary (list) of the medications that they cover. It is important to review your prescription coverage each year. Even though your medications may not have changed, plans can add or remove medications from their covered list each year.
When to Enroll
Start your enrollment process 60 – 90 days before you want your Original Medicare to begin. It will be important that you have your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (Medicare card) before you can submit an application to the insurance plan of your choice. Original Medicare enrollments can be completed online with your personal Social Security account login.
Using an Advocate
When comparing your coverage options, it is best to speak with an advocate/broker who specializes in Medicare. Not all brokers are created equal. Be sure your broker has access to multiple carriers and plan designs.
Your Medicare journey is unique and should be treated that way! By working with Schatz Benefit Group, they will guide you each step of the way and insure you are not missing deadlines or incurring extra costs with your benefits. They work will all the major carriers in MN and provide this service at no cost to you!