Choosing a Medicare Plan
Medicare has so many options, and choosing the right plan can feel overwhelming. With a broad range of Medicare Part C, Part D prescription drug plans, and Medicare Supplement plans to choose from, how do you decide which Medicare plan meets your needs, budget, and preferences? Continue reading to dig deeper.
Decide Between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage
This is a big decision for new Medicare beneficiaries. Original Medicare comprises two parts: Medicare Part A, which covers hospitalization and other inpatient expenses, and Medicare Part B, which covers medical and outpatient expenses. While Medicare Part A is free to most people, you need to pay a standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which is $148.50 in 2021. However, the Medicare Part B premium is higher for those whose income is above a certain threshold. If you make anywhere between $88,000 and $111,000 and file individual taxes, you can pay up to $207.90 as a premium.
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C plan, is offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans cover the same benefits as Original Medicare, and they usually include Part D prescription drug coverage. Some plans also offer coverage for dental, vision, hearing, and other services. Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans use a network of health care providers, but some plans allow you to see a doctor out of network, but it comes at a higher cost. Some Medicare Advantage plans also have a premium as low as $0, but the average premium in 2021 is $21.
Which of these plans you choose entirely depends on the amount of coverage you need. However, do keep in mind that you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. If you drop your Part B coverage at any time, you will ultimately be dropped from your Medicare Advantage plan.
Consider Part D Prescription Drug Coverage
If you are taking prescriptions, you should highly consider enrolling in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Medicare Part D plans are expected to cover at least two prescriptions from each drug class, as well as cover all prescriptions from these specific classes:
- HIV/AIDS drugs
- Common vaccines
You can enroll in a standalone Part D plan that will work alongside your Original Medicare coverage, or you can purchase a Medicare Advantage plan that provides prescription coverage as an added benefit.
Do You Need Medicare Supplement Coverage?
Medicare comes with varying costs, such as deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, excess charges, and more. Without a supplement, you may find that these out-of-pocket costs can add up fairly quickly, especially if you require many health services. With a Medicare Supplement, you can get coverage to help you cover most, if not all, of these costs.
For assistance in choosing a Medicare plan, contact Avila Medicare Solutions in Austin, Texas for guidance. We have a team of Medicare professionals available to help find the right plan for you, as well as help you compare costs and coverage.