DON’T LET THE ADS STRESS YOU OUT
The approach is to make you worry: Do I have the right plan? Do I have the best plan? Am I missing out on a program where everything is free, as the TV ads insist?
Let’s look at the facts.
If you do not currently have Part A and Part B (Original Medicare), we can help you
Sit back and relax.
If you are turning 65, or still working with employer coverage from you or your spouse after 65, you will have your own period to make choices.
If you have Part A and Part B, you can change your plan from one company to another if you have a special enrollment period. You may change from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare plus a Supplement. You can change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan.
|If you currently have a Medicare Advantage plan, chances are, it has gotten better
Most of the plans in Southern California have increased benefits and lower copays.
Check your Annual Notice of Change sent to you by your carrier to be sure. It arrived in your mailbox in late September.
If you have a Medicare Supplement (Plan A, B, C, G, F, etc.), you can count on your rate increasing in 2021, as they do every year as you age. Some beneficiaries over 70 are paying well above $250 per month.
|Calling 800 numbers and relying on an agent from a single plan is not the best course
Your most comprehensive service that is specific to you as an individual is to talk to a licensed broker who represents and has knowledge of many plans, and most important, is local to your area.
They will know your local medical groups, your doctors, and your pharmacies.
Remember: An agent works for the insurance carrier, a broker works for you.
|Check your drug costs
The primary difference from one Medicare Advantage to another is drug copay costs.
If you are taking all generic medications, the difference is likely minimal.
If you have expensive brand name drugs on your list, you should check the cost year to year.
The pharmaceutical industry has dramatically increased the retail cost of many brand-name drugs, primarily on the backs of Medicare beneficiaries.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced a program for insulin dependent seniors called the Part D Senior Savings Model. As a result, many Medicare health plans have adopted a maximum $35 copay for a wide array of insulin products. If you take insulin, you should inquire about this program.
If there is one constant in Medicare, it’s the rising cost of drugs. Check your plan to be sure.
|Do not have high expectations regarding dental coverage
Original Medicare itself does not cover dental services.
Most Medicare Advantage plans offer a very low level of supplemental dental coverage, some at an extra charge, but they restrict you to a limited list of participating dentists and limited coverage.
Beware of dental coverage with your Medicare plan. It may not be to your expectations, and your dentist may not participate.
Welsh Insurance Services is based in Redlands. Call (909) 520-8482 to schedule an appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let Medicare be one thing you don’t have to stress about.