A Senior Moment- Decisions, Decisions, Decisions! Medicare Open Enrollment Time!
Well, it’s Medicare Open Enrollment—time to at least review if not change Medicare options for 2020. The deadline to do this is December 7! Are you tired of all the ads yet?
While you may not make any changes in your current plan—it’s critical to review it while you can. For instance, my Part D (Prescription Coverage) which I have had with the same company for several years, just doubled in cost for 2020 and my usage has been minimal. I need to look at other options.
So, what are your choices? Basically, three options: First, just Medicare (including part B, which, by the way, is cost-sensitive based on your income). Then there are the Advantage plans and next, the Medicare Supplements often referred to as Medigap Plans.
In all of these options, you will be charged for Part A. If you choose any of the “upgrades” you will want to or you might even be required to, buy Part B. Also, you will want to seriously consider Part D (Prescriptions) if you select a Medicare Supplement.
Advantage Plans are often available for no additional monthly premium on Parts A and B. Many include additional benefits like gym fees, dental, optical, some medical transportation. New benefits this year are carpet cleaning, food for service dogs and more. Good grief—do we really need the government health plan to clean our carpets?? What’s next? Car washes?
In my next post, I will go into more detail, but the bottom line is that Advantage plans are usually the least expensive on a monthly basis, but have the most restrictions (deductibles, copays. referral requirements and some limitations of providers you may see). Supplemental plans cost more monthly but don’t have those restrictions that I listed above and cover the 20% of the total cost for care that Medicare doesn’t. Even serious surgery or illness are usually covered in full, like my recent rotator cuff surgery.
Until next time, please do begin a review of your Medicare options. You can do this on our own or with professional help, of which there are plenty of to choose from—either locally or online. But do be careful—many of these folks are commissioned salespeople and may have their best interests at heart—not yours.
Stay well—plan ahead!!
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