Finding the right health insurance plan for you can often feel like an uphill climb. If you are looking for a plan that will deliver on what it promises while keeping you in the black, you are not alone. Due diligence and asking the right questions will help you make confident and smart health care choices. But first, knowing what questions to ask to get that information is where you need to start.
Three Questions to Ask that Will Cover All Your Bases
Before undertaking this journey, it is crucial that you understand what your situation needs in order for you to find that perfect fit.
There are four sections of Medicare that cover an intersection of health needs. Part A covers hospital insurance. Part B covers up to 80 percent of medical insurance, such as the cost of outpatient service and medical supplies. Part C provides the option of creating private plans that include the same benefits of Part A and B. Part D covers prescription drug use.
Those who decide to go with a tailored Medicare plan do so because Part A or Part B does not cover a specific medical service that they need. Or, in some situations, patients have found that choosing a custom Medicare plan causes that medical need to be less costly. Retirees are often those in need of a bespoke health plan. A study conducted by Mount Sinai Hospital showed that 43 percent of patients 65 and older had Medicare expenses that exceeded their total assets.
There are only three questions that you need to know to find the right Medicare match. Of course, each question of itself contains various points. But here, at least, is where you should start. Arm yourself with these answers and you will make narrowing down your final choice that much easier.
- What kind of coverage do I need?
Do you need coverage for prescription drug use? Are you fit and you don’t foresee many hospital visits in your future? Do you plan to travel outside the US? Do you need long-term care insurance options? Perhaps you aren’t sure of what you will need in the future? Or maybe you are only looking to upgrade your current Medicare plan to a more cost-effective option? If this last is true of you, there are many providers of medical health plans that can help to narrow down your options. Some providers will even draft up a tailored plan relevant to your health needs.
- How much am I willing to pay?
Outside of how much monthly premiums will cost, take note of how much a hospital stay will cost under each plan. Ask about doctor appointments, and if there’s a cap on expenses per year. You want to learn about whether this plan has coverage rules that could end up making the entire plan more costly in the long run. Getting a good handle of the hidden costs of popular plans can help you avoid a financial decision that could end up hurting you down the line.
- Does my hospital, clinic, or other care provider accept this Medicare plan
Is your local hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, or pharmacy included within the Medicare plan? Have a list of your local medical providers that you frequent and compare this list with the ones under the plan you are considering. You may need to be open to changing pharmacies or physicians, but first decide what you are open to changing before signing on the dotted line. Understand what you are willing to negotiate and what you are unwilling to let go.
Choosing a tailored Medicare plan allows for lower costs, while at the same time narrowing your health care options to do so.
While it might feel counter-intuitive, don’t rush to make a decision when it comes to finding the plan that will cover your health needs. Finding the right plan for you is worth the effort. Expect to make several calls to various Medicare planners. Not just once, but as many times as needed so that you can move ahead with your decision feeling like you are making a knowledgeable one.