Many seniors will be shopping multiple insurance companies in search of the best and
most cost effective health plan option for 2011. In addition to the thousands of people
who are losing their coverage altogether, there are many more who are unhappy with
their current plan. When comparing Medicare Plans there are several questions you
want to make sure to address before making a final decision. In addition, you may
want to consider leaving the advantage plans in favor of Medicare Supplement Plans,
which often offer superior coverage.
The first question you want to be sure to ask is 鈥? What is the deductible? Many
advantage plans will be introducing deductibles into their 2011 plan options,
particularly for out-of-network coverage. You want to make sure to purchase a plan
that has a low deductible, or preferably none at all. Most Medicare Supplement Plans
have a low $155 annual deductible, while Medicare Supplement Plan F has non
deductibles at all.
The second question you need to ask is: What are the co-payments? You want to
make sure you have a very good idea regarding your total out-of-pocket expenses for
healthcare. Medicare Advantage Plans are notorious for having large co-payments,
especially for short hospital stays. Most Medicare Supplement Plans cover all hospital
expenses with no questions asked. The exception is Medicare Supplement Plan A,
which is the most basic of all plans.
The third questions you will definitely need to ask when changing plans is 鈥?Are
my prescriptions covered? If your prescriptions aren 鈥檛 covered, find another plan.
It is that simple. When purchasing Medicare Supplement Plans you can purchase a
stand alone prescription drug plan for a very affordable price. In 2011, there is a very
good option for under $15 in most areas. Make sure to also ask about deductibles for
prescriptions, and often times you can get generics for free!
The fourth question you will want to ask before purchasing a plan is 鈥?Will my
doctors accept this plan? All doctors and hospitals accept Medicare Supplement Plans
as long as they accept original Medicare. However, an increasing amount of doctors
and hospitals are no longer accepting Medicare Advantage Plans. Before purchasing
any advantage plan, you should call your doctor to be sure they will still accept you as
The last question you will want to ask before making a final decision is 鈥?What is
my maximum out of pocket cost? With Medicare Supplement Plans , it is quite simple.
If you purchase Medicare Supplemental Plan F, there are NO out of pocket expenses
at all. People who purchase lesser plans often have a small deductible before all
medical services are paid for. However, with Medicare Advantage Plans you will have
co-payments for almost everything so this is a very important question to ask.