According to a 2019 Fidelity Benefits Consulting study, at age 65 a couple can expect to need about $285,000 today to cover medical expenses in retirement1, not including additional benefits such as hearing, vision, and dental. Now more than ever it’s essential to choose the best Medicare plan to not only minimize costs but also provide all the necessary benefits.

Some people think that Medicare is free and covers all health care costs after retirement. However, it is estimated that in fact Medicare covers only about half. Therefore, it’s important to effectively manage your health care money, and selecting the right Medicare plan is one of the best ways to do that.

Every year from October 15 – December 7 you can re-evaluate your plan and choose a new one if you want. Making sure that your plan is still the right one for you by reviewing it annually is another way to ensure you are making the most of your money when it comes to healthcare.

 

All the Options

 

A benefit of Medicare is that there are a lot of options to choose from so you can find a plan that fits your needs. However, it can be overwhelming to navigate all the plans and actually find the one that covers what you need while keeping costs low.

In addition, plans change from year to year. Insurance companies make changes to their plans and notify you of changes with an Annual Notice of Change. Reviewing this document annually is essential to be aware of changes that are coming. Here are some things to look at when going over changes to your plan:

  • Monthly premium
  • Out-of-pocket maximum
  • Benefits
  • Travel coverage
  • Your plan’s network
  • Drug formulary
  • Prescription drug classification tiers
  • Customer service

 

In addition to reviewing changes, it’s also important to re-evaluate whether your plan has met all your needs in the past year and if your needs have changed. Examples of how your needs might have changed that would affect your health care coverage and costs include:

  • You are using a new drug that is not covered by your plan’s formulary
  • Your doctor is not included in your plan’s network any longer
  • You have moved and your plan is not offered there

 

These are just some of the things to consider every year as you review your plan. For help reviewing your plan, talk to a licensed Medicare agent today.

 

When to review your plan

 

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period takes place from October 15 – December 7 every year. This is an opportunity to ensure your plan is still right for you, and if it is not, switch to a new plan.

People often don’t take advantage of this time period. We can see why. It’s confusing, there’s an overwhelming number of options, and you might be happy with your plan. But it’s important to review your plan and situation every year or even get a second opinion. That’s what we are here for. We offer services including:

  • Guiding you through your Medicare decision process
  • Reviewing your plan annually
  • Enrolling you in your chosen plan
  • Hosting information sessions throughout the year

 

Reach out to us today no matter where you are in your Medicare journey and we can help find the right plan for you!

 

References

1https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/plan-for-rising-health-care-costs