3 Tips To Find Your Best Medicare Advantage Plan
1. Compare Plans & Providers Available In Your County – In any particular county, there is usually a variety of plans offered by different insurance providers. The extent of this variety depends on where you are. In any case, you can compare available benefits and providers. Plans offered among the different insurance providers can often be similar. By reviewing the details, you may find some are better than others. You can review the “Summary of Benfits” for the different plans you are interested in. This is a document that lists the benfits you get as a member and your out of pocket costs. Medicare also provides a “Star Rating” for each plan. This rating is generated each year through Medicare’s research and feedback from the plan’s members.
2. Find Out About Network Doctors, Hospitals, & Providers – Medicare Advantage plans have networks, which are lists of doctors & hospitals that accept the plan. With HMO plans you need to use doctors & hospitals that are in the plan, except in cases of emergency or urgent care. With PPO’s you pay lower co-pays at network doctors and have coverage at out of network doctors for higher costs. In either case, you’ll want to use network doctors to keep your medical costs down. For any plan you are interested in you can check their network directory for the doctors and hospitals that accept the plan. If you have doctors that are important to you, you can also check the network to see if they are in it.
3. Compare How Plans Cover Medications – Most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription coverage with them. This is with the exception of plans that do not have prescription coverage, which are designed for those who will have it through another source. Each Advantage Plan available in your area may cover different medications, at different costs. You can review the “Formulary” to see what medications are covered and estimate the costs of your medications. If you have a preferred pharmacy, you will also want to know what pharmacy’s are covered. Each plan has a pharmacy network and certain pharmacies where costs for your medications may be lower. Most plans also offer 90 day home delivery for certain medications. If you are open to or prefer delivery, you can check the cost of your medications using this method.