The price of food, gas and utilities seem to be going up daily. You need to find ways to cut corners.
One solution is to find a more affordable Medicare plan. Every plan provider and marketer is promising to save you money but after the smoke clears you find yourself in the same situation.
Don’t give up. There are many insurance companies offering supplemental coverage and there are Medicare Advantage plans available in most area with a $0 monthly premium.
This article will address some simple actions you can take to find a Medicare plan that is more affordable.
Comparing Medicare plans does not have to be difficult
The fist step to finding an affordable Medicare plan is to know what you are working with. In other words, what is your budget. To get a clearer picture try to think in terms of an annual budget.
You may pay for a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan monthly but may be responsible for additional costs as well. These could be in the form of coinsurance and copays or could be for services not covered by your plan.
Medicare Advantage Plans
If you are on an extremely limited budget a Medicare Advantage plan may be an affordable option. Advantage plans may have a monthly premium of $0 or over $100 per month. Beyond the monthly premium you should consider:
- The cost of a hospital stay
- Copays for doctors and specialists
- Whether or not Part D is included
- The maximum amount you would have to pay out-of-pocket
- If the extra benefits (dental, vision etc.) will actually be much of a savings
If a plan has a $0 monthly premium but has higher costs for a hospital stay and a higher maximum out-of-pocket than other plans it may not be affordable. A $0 premium doesn’t always equate to an affordable Medicare plan.
Visit the Medicare website to see all available Medicare Advantage plans in your area. HMO and PPO plans often have lower monthly premiums and richer benefits that a Private Fee -for-Service (PFFS) plans.
Most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D coverage which can add to your savings.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap)
If you have choose to protect yourself with a Medicare supplement policy there are two basic ways to find a more affordable plan.
1. Shop! Shop! Shop! Medigap policies are standardized. So Medicare Supplement Plan F will have identical benefits no matter which company is selling it.
The biggest mistake people make is not to compare several companies. It’s not uncommon to save over $100 per month by switching to another company.
2. Consider moving to a plan with less comprehensive benefits. This is especially a good idea if you are relatively healthy. For instance, Medicare Supplement Plan N is considerably less expensive because you have a greater responsibility form some of the costs.
A word of warning! Don’t purchase a Medigap policy at the top of your budget. You need to allow for the purchase of a Part D plan as well as any non-covered medical expenses, such as dental, vision and hearing.
Finding an affordable Medicare plan means more than jumping at a low monthly premium. You must assess your health and look at potential costs on an annual basis.