find a doctor

5 Questions You Should Ask When You’re Considering Making a Medicare Insurance Plan Change

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, starts October 15 and goes until December 7.

During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can change their Medicare Advantage Plans (MAPD) and their Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) for a January 1 effective date.

If you’re considering making changes to your Medicare plan, here are 5 questions you should ask first.

  1. Are your primary care doctor and specialists in-network? If you want to keep your current primary care doctor or if you are currently seeing specialists you want to continue to see, check if the plan you are considering switching to has your doctors in-network. A Medicare insurance agent can check to see if your doctors are in-network for you.
  2. How does the cost of the possible new plan compare with the cost of your current plan? Before switching plans, compare the costs of your current plan with any other plans you’re considering. Some cost areas to consider include:

    Urgent Care Visits
    Emergency Room Visits
    Lab Work
    Prescription Drugs
    Extra Benefits

  3. What prescription drugs are you taking? Whether you’re on a MAPD or looking to switch PDP’s, the cost of your medications can make a big difference to your yearly healthcare costs. A Medicare insurance agent can run a formulary with your specific medication list and compare different MAPDs and PDPs for you. Since the cost of medications changes so frequently, it’s a good idea to check the projected cost of your drugs each year.
  4. What other benefits are included with your current plan versus a possible new plan? Often, Medicare plans will include additional benefits such as dental, chiropractic, or acupuncture benefits; emergency response systems; gym memberships; or vision and hearing benefits. You can find out what extra benefits your current plan has by asking your Medicare insurance agent or by contacting the member number on the back of your insurance card.
  5. If you are traveling or frequently live in another state and need medical attention, what might that cost you? If you are someone who often travels out of your service area, double-check what the cost of medical attention will be in another county, state, and even country. Cost areas to consider include:

Visit to the urgent care
Visit to the emergency room
Lab work and other lab diagnostics
Prescription drugs

In addition, if you split your time living in two different cities during the year, you may qualify for a Passport Program. This feature is included in some Medicare insurance policies, where the insurance company has established networks in both areas. Members with this plan feature can get the same plan benefits in both cities they live in. For more questions about this Passport Program, please contact an insurance agent.

Have more questions?

We can help.

We work with Caress Insurance Agency , Inc. to help answer your Medicare questions and provide you with the latest information on Medicare insurance plan options, at no cost to you.




Related articles

What Caregivers Need to Know to Navigate Medicare for their Loved Ones
What Caregivers Need to Know to Navigate Medicare for their Loved Ones

As a caregiver, it’s important to know how to navigate the healthcare and insurance coverage of those you…Learn more

Medicare Plans and Kidney Disease: Get Covered for ESRD
Medicare Plans and Kidney Disease: Get Covered for ESRD

If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), can you sign up for Medicare? Yes. You can get your…Learn more

How to Sign Up for a Medicare Insurance Plan
How to Sign Up for a Medicare Insurance Plan

Preparing to sign up for a Medicare Insurance plan can feel overwhelming. Do you need Medicare Insurance on…Learn more

Telehealth: Remote Access to Healthcare Providers During COVID-19
Telehealth: Remote Access to Healthcare Providers During COVID-19

As the world adapts to social distancing and the precautions put in place to slow the spread of…Learn more

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons