Choosing the right Medicare option is not an easy task for many people. While there are actually several ways that you can go with your benefits, there can oftentimes be “gaps” in your Medicare coverage, resulting in potentially high out-of-pocket cost responsibilities.
The good news is that, during the yearly Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), there is a fast, easy way to help you in narrowing down your choices and better determining which one may be right for you.
In assisting Medicare enrollees in finding the very best coverage, Medicare itself has provided some helpful resources – one that entails taking a short quiz, which in turn, can narrow down which of the different Medicare coverage alternatives will best fit your specific needs.
While you don’t need to study for this quiz per se’, it can be beneficial for you to have an idea of what your answers will be prior to going online and taking the Medicare coverage quiz. With that in mind, the five questions that are asked on Medicare’s quiz include the following:
You can take the Medicare coverage quiz, and also view your results immediately afterwards, by going to: https://www.medicare.gov/medicarecoverageoptions/.
Based on your responses to the Medicare quiz, you can quickly and easily find the solution for your Medicare coverage needs. In this case, there are two primary methods for obtaining your Medicare benefits. These include Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
Generally, for those who are seeking basic hospitalization and doctors’ services coverage – and who also want the freedom to pick and choose the doctors and other health care providers that service will be obtained from – then Original Medicare may be the better option.
Original Medicare consists of Medicare Part A (hospitalization coverage) and Medicare Part B (doctors’ services and medical equipment / supplies). Enrollees in Original Medicare may also purchase a separate Medicare Part D plan to help with covering the cost of prescription medications.
In addition, because there can be a long list of out-of-pocket cost responsibilities with Original Medicare, you may also want to consider the purchase of a Medicare Supplement insurance policy.
Depending on which of these plans you choose (there are currently ten different Medicare Supplement insurance plans available in the market place), you could secure a great deal of financial cushion for helping to pay the “gaps” in Medicare’s coverage.
If, however, you would like more expansive health care coverage – such as vision, dental, and / or wellness benefits – then a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Medicare Part C) could be the better alternative for you.
One thing to keep in mind with regard to Medicare Advantage is that these plans are oftentimes set up as HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) or PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations), and because of that, you may be required to choose your health care providers from a list of in-network medical professionals. You may also be required to obtain a referral before you visit a health care specialist.
Because Medicare Advantage plans are offered through individual insurance carriers – and not through Medicare itself – the premium and the benefits that are offered can differ, sometimes substantially, from one plan to another.
Still confused about which Medicare plan to choose during this year’s Medicare open enrollment? There are lots of additional resources available that can help you with narrowing down your answer.
One of the best – and most comprehensive – resources is the Medicare website. Here you can find in-depth details regarding what is covered in Medicare Part A and B, as well as the associated out-of-pocket costs that you might incur, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
You will also find information regarding Medicare premiums, so that you can better ensure whether or not this coverage will fit with your budget, and details regarding which benefits are covered by the various Medicare Supplement plans.
Another option for finding important information on Medicare plans – including Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage – is to contact a local Medicare insurance professional. By doing so, you can have your questions answered, and you may even be able to purchase a plan that you decide to go with.
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Author Bio: Ben started Prepare for Medicare in 2014 to help people help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in product development, sales, marketing and strategy for over 20 years.
Help with your Medicare choices? What type of Medicare coverage is right for you? Medicare.gov. https://www.medicare.gov/medicarecoverageoptions/