Medicare Open Enrollment is underway until December 7. And whether you’re covered by your employer’s group health benefits for employees or you like the coverage through medicare, there are some key questions to ask yourself before formally accepting any health insurance plan.
Inventory your current healthcare benefits and needs
Start by assessing your current health insurance benefits and asking yourself if those benefits will work for you in 2021. The reality is plans change, and your needs change. So we recommend carefully reviewing any changes in costs or health coverage coming in the new year.
Specifically double-check these:
- Are your drugs covered on the 2021 drug lists?
- Are your preferred doctors and hospitals in the health plan provider network?
- Can you access benefits if you travel outside your home state?
Cost analysis will help you save
Even if your employer offers benefits, you could still qualify for Medicare. For people specifically on a small group health plan, it might make more sense to transition over to Medicare.
But keep in mind, Medicare isn’t free.
Most people don’t pay a premium for Medicare Part A. The standard Medicare Part B premium was $144.60 per month in 2020, but that premium is based on your income.
You should consider the monthly cost of the program and deductibles along with your expected coverage needs.
We want to point out that original Medicare won’t typically cover some services older people often need. That includes dental care or hearing aids. Routine vision care, like eye exams, glasses and contact lenses, won’t be reimbursed either.
Medicare also won’t pay for more than 100 days of long-term care or nursing home stays.
These are all reasons why it’s important to compare a variety of health insurance plan options not just cost.
You don’t have to pay for expert help
Anyone charging to help you with enrollment is charging a fee that isn’t necessarily.
But navigating the health insurance process can be tough. So seek an advisor that can help you without that extra fee.
When you work with a licensed, local advisor, you’ve aligned yourself with a broker that you can see and meet with when or if the need arises.
“These are the type of people who remain your advocate after coverage is secured,” Sara DeBiasi, Benefit Concepts President, explained. “A local broker serves the Medicare beneficiary’s interests on a year-round basis.”
Be wary of the scams during Medicare open enrollment
Finally, as you navigate affordable health insurance plans, you must safeguard your personal information.
You may get calls from people promising you things if you give them a Medicare Number. This is a scam. Don’t do it. Hang up immediately.
Also, be wary of people wanting to come to your home. If anyone shows up uninvited, that’s a red flag.
Keep this Medicare no-no list in mind:
- Medicare will NEVER contact you for your Medicare Number or other personal information unless you have given them permission in advance.
- Medicare will NEVER call you to sell you anything.
- Medicare will NEVER visit you at home.
- Medicare CANNOT enroll you over the phone unless you called first.
Health care coverage is a necessity and your right. At Benefit Concepts we can help you navigate the process and support you when questions about your coverage arise.