Category: Medicare Advantage

Know The Drug Plan Lingo! 5 Terms to Get You Started

Know The Drug Plan Lingo! 5 Terms to Get You Started

Every field or discipline has its own language. And to the undiscerning ear, it can all run together into nonsensical jargon. Mumbo jumbo. Gibberish. Flim flam. Drivel. You get the idea. But if you want to walk the walk and get ahead, you must first talk the talk. To get you started, you’ve probably come across these 6 terms in your Part D Drug Plan research.

 

Formulary

I’ll start with an easy one. The formulary is simply the list of drugs a particular plan covers. There are 24 drug plans at your disposal. Not all of them will cover the same medications. This is why it is important to check a plan’s formulary to find out if it’s right for you.

 

Prior Authorization

If a drug plan requires prior authorization, it means that they will not cover certain drugs unless your doctor or prescriber proves that the medication is medically necessary.

 

Step Therapy

Drug companies do not want you on an expensive drug when a less expensive one will be just as effective. For this reason, they will often make their beneficiaries start on a generic or cheaper drug as a trial to see if it works just as well. If it doesn’t, then the beneficiary can “step” up to the more expensive (often name brand) medication. This is called step therapy.

 

Quantity Limit

Quantity limit is exactly what it sounds like: a limit on the quantity of a specific drug that a plan will cover. Drug companies limit quantity to reduce waste, curb drug costs, and prevent unsafe use. For example, if someone is on a pain medication with a standard dosage of 2 per day, the quantity limit for a month will likely be 60 pills. They don’t want people getting addicted or wasting them through misuse or carelessness.

 

Tiers

Drug plan companies often organize the medications they cover into levels or “tiers”. Drugs on a lower tier (often generic brands) have lower associated costs such as copayments or coinsurance. Drugs on a higher tier (such as name brand or specialty drugs) often have higher costs.

 

The Donut Hole

The donut hole is a gap is prescription drug coverage. After you reach $3,310 in total drug costs, you enter the donut hole (resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs). After you reach 4,850 in out-pocket costs, you leave the donut hole and enter into what is known as “catastrophic” coverage where the plan will cover 95% of your drug costs.

 

All done! If you finished reading this, your Medicare literacy just increased. But if you have run into any more difficult terms, leave a comment. We are more than willing to answer your questions. Or visit Medicare Interactive’s glossary for additional Medicare vocabulary.

 

Have other Medicare questions? Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!

Is There an Advantage to Medicare Advantage?

Is There an Advantage to Medicare Advantage?

According to Reader’s Digest, 1 in 4 retirees receive their health insurance coverage from a Medicare Advantage Plan.  And I can certainly understand the attraction.  Premiums as low as $0 a month.  Prescription drug plans often included.  What’s not to like?

 

But—as it goes for most purchases—you get what you pay for.  And when it comes to Medicare Advantage Plans, they definitely have a dark side.  Allow me to shed some light on the subject.

 

The Medicare (Dis)Advantage Plan

Networks

Medicare Advantage Plans contract with specific hospitals and doctors, usually within a relatively tight-knit geographic area.  If you don’t receive care from the ones with whom they’ve “networked”, you may be subject to higher copays or coinsurance at each visit. Depending on the plan, they may not even cover your expenses at all.

 

This can be a problem for anyone, but especially for those who travel frequently.  So for you snowbirds out there who fly south for the winter and leave us all to freeze, this serves you right (forgive my jealous outburst).  You may find yourself with less (or even no) coverage at your vacation home.  Although they will still cover you in emergencies, that doesn’t mean it won’t be an expensive hassle.

 

Inconsistency

Because Medicare Advantage Plans are funded by government subsidy, the cost and benefits can change drastically from year to year.  If the government decides to spend your tax dollars elsewhere, your plan may let prices creep (or even leap) up, while benefits wane.  This all depends on politics, which—as you already know—is rarely consistent.

 

Potentially High Out-of-Pocket Costs

Medicare Advantage Plans have more of a pay-as-you-go approach.  Although the premium is low, deductibles, coinsurance and copays are often much higher.  This is not a problem if you are healthy, but if you are struck with sudden illness, you might be stuck with astronomically high out-of-pockets: 3,500 to 6000 a year or more!  And if the diagnosis is bad enough, you may not qualify to switch to a Supplement plan.

 

Let’s take a real life example.

A client of ours came in with an Advantage Plan.  He was diagnosed with cancer in fall of 2012 and started chemotherapy immediately.  Since he was in charge of 20% of the costs due to his plan, he very speedily met his $7,500 annual out-of-pocket limit.  Then it was the New Year, and his out-of-pocket limit reset.  He continued chemo-treatments, which lead to another $7,500 expense.  That is $15,000 of spending in less than 6 months!

 

And since a cancer diagnosis prevented him from switching to a Supplement, he had to stay with his Advantage Plan.  He was stuck, and—needless to say—very unhappy about it.

 

So Here’s the Bottom Line…

Is there an advantage to a Medicare Advantage Plan?

If your doctors are in your plan’s network, you stay on top of changes, and—here’s a big one—you don’t get horribly ill (leading to high out-of-pocket costs), then yes!  The Medicare Advantage dark side has vanished.  The force is with you, and you’ve saved hundreds or even thousands in premium costs.

 

But you need to assess your situation.  You need to take the risk into consideration.  1 in 4 people might be on a Medicare Advantage Plan, but that doesn’t mean it is right for you!

 

Questions?

If you find yourself still searching for answers, one of our workshops might be for you!  Click here to sign up for one of our next workshops!

Looking to switch to or purchase a Medicare supplement, or Advantage plan? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation. We are here to help.

What Is the Fastest Way to Sign Up For Medicare?

What Is the Fastest Way to Sign Up For Medicare?

Once you’ve determined that it’s time to apply and have carefully considered all of your options, you are now ready to sign up for Medicare. You’ve got grandkids to get back to, family events to plan, and the world to explore, so you probably want to get this item off your to-do list as quickly as possible.

 

Fortunately, the federal government understands you in this respect. In response, they have designed a user-friendly website and an online enrollment process. It’s quick (taking only about 10 minutes). It’s easy (because you don’t have to leave the comfort of home). And the very fact that you are reading this blog proves you are tech-savvy enough to handle it.

 

To Apply Online, Just Follow These Few Simple Steps:

  1. Go to Social Security’s Website
  2. Click on the “Menu” Tab.
  3. In the “Benefits” section, choose “Medicare”.
  4. Scroll down and click the “Apply for Medicare Only” button.  (you will only be applying for medical coverage — not social security payments)
  5. In the “Apply and Complete” section, choose “Start a New Application”.
  6. The site will guide you from there.

 

Slow Down Partner!

But just wait! Before you start clicking away gung ho, I want you to consider how much thought you’ve put into your Medicare decisions. Not because I want to keep you from your grandkids, but because I know making mistakes in this process can result in unnecessary penalties and unexpected costs. If you haven’t sat down with a retirement expert in consultation, I strongly recommend doing so. It will take extra time, but—as the clichéd saying goes—sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

 

If you need someone to take this weight off your shoulders, give Seniormark a call at 937-492-8800. We make retirement decisions as quick and painless as possible!

 

Tax Penalty Alert: Mixing Medicare and HSAs

Tax Penalty Alert: Mixing Medicare and HSAs

Medicare and Health Savings Accounts just don’t mix.

Like oil and water. Like toothpaste and orange juice. Like shopping with grandkids and fixed budgets.

 

This is very important to know. When you start Medicare, either Part A or Part B, you have to stop contributions to your HSA account. Otherwise, you could be on the hook for some tax penalties. According to IRS publication 969, the penalty is 6% of your contribution and its interest until you remove the funds from your HSA.

 

So if you want to continue contributing to your HSA (legally, at least), you will have to delay getting on Medicare. But here’s the catch: Very few people can delay Medicare without receiving—you guessed it—penalties (there seems to be a lot of these nowadays). In fact, the only people who can forgo Medicare benefits without consequences are those who have adequate coverage with their employer through active employment. I’m not talking retiree insurance. I am talking Monday through Friday, on-the-floor or in-the-office work. It’s the only way.

 

And if you started receiving Social Security early and were signed up for Medicare automatically, I’m sorry to say you are stuck. You cannot contribute to your HSA, and it will be very difficult to get around it. This is because you are not allowed to opt out of Part A. Although you can drop Part B, being enrolled in Medicare Part A will still prevent you from contributing to your HSA.

 

However, it is important to note that you can still use the money in your HSA. There is no penalty for that. As a matter of fact, I would strongly encourage you to use your money. You’ve spent a lot of time building up that robust HSA; you might as well take advantage of it! You can use the funds for

  • Your Part B Premium
  • Your Drug Plan Premium
  • Your Advantage Plan Premium
  • Doctor’s Appointments
  • Copays

And this is just the beginning. There are many other qualified medical expenses you can use it for.

 

So don’t get too upset. You’re Health Savings Account is not obsolete. It’s just not going to grow much anymore. But that is just the way it is with a lot of things in retirement. Think of your nest egg. Your 401k. IRAs. It is just that time in your life when you stop working to save and start putting those hard-earned savings to work for you! When you look at it that way, it doesn’t seem too bad.

 

Have more questions about Medicare and your employer insurance?  Click here to receive your free copy of our handout:  The top 4 questions Medicare-aged employees ask about their employer health insurance.

 

If you still have questions — give our office a call at 937-492-8800.

 

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Turning 65 and Work For a Small Employer? Sign Up For Medicare Part B!

Turning 65 and Work For a Small Employer? Sign Up For Medicare Part B!

The general rule of thumb is if you have employer insurance through active employment, you can delay Part B of Medicare without penalty.

 

But that certainly doesn’t mean you should! There are cases, of course, when your employer plan is the better value, and it works out for you to opt out of part B. However, in other situations, it may be very costly.

 

For example, consider the woman who came into our office earlier this year with an $8000 bill for her outpatient surgery. She opted out of Part B, but she had insurance through active employment. Shouldn’t her employer plan cover it?

 

Well, not always. You see, her insurance was provided through a company that employed less than 20 people. This made Medicare the primary payer of her insurance. And when she didn’t have Medicare? Well…it wasn’t good.

 

The costly mistake had to do with how coordination of benefits works between employer insurance and Medicare. Let’s take an employer health insurance plan that covers 80/20 as an example (insurance pays 80%, you pay 20%)

 

When an employer plan covers 20 or more employees, the employer plan is the primary payer of your claims. Therefore, your employer insurance pays 80% of the bill and Medicare (if you have it) pays the remaining 20%. In this case, it is not necessary to have Part B; you can opt out. You’ll have to pay the remaining 20%, but it saves you the $134.00 a month Part B premium.

 

But if your employer plan covers less than 20 employees, Medicare pays first. The whole thing is flipped. So what if you get the previously mentioned expensive surgery and don’t have Medicare? It will not just carry over to your employer plan. They won’t pay the 80% that was supposed to be covered by Medicare. Instead, you will be lucky to get them to pay the 20%, leaving you on the hook…80% or more on the hook, which might just be $8000 in uncovered surgery procedures.

 

This is why it is so important to ensure that you are signing up for Medicare at the right time. Just because your neighbor can opt out of part B doesn’t mean you can. They might work for a Honda or a Copeland, a company with thousands of employees. You might work for a small business of 15 people.

 

So check with your boss or human resources department. Ask and make sure. It could save you from an unexpected, expensive, and potentially crippling bill.

 

Confused about Medicare and not sure what to do next? Download our free E-book here, and let us walk you through it!  Still have questions?  Call our office at 937-492-8800 to schedule a free, no obligation appointment!

 

Will I Be Able to Afford Medicare?

Will I Be Able to Afford Medicare?

The shortest and most honest answer is “I don’t know”. But I know this doesn’t help you answer the most pressing questions weighing on your mind as you approach retirement age. Am I ready? Or Should I delay my retirement? And most of all—how am I going to afford health care without my employer insurance?

 

So here’s what I am going to do. Using my 20 years of experience working with retirees, I am going to lay out a framework for what to expect when it comes to Medicare expenses. These will just be “in-the-ballpark” figures, but I believe they will help you come to a decision. You just might find that Medicare falls squarely into your budget.

 

So let’s get started with some good news.

 

Medicare Part A (Inpatient Care) Is Free

As long as you’ve paid into Social Security for at least 10 years, social security will return the favor with no associated Part A premium.

 

The Associated Part B (Outpatient Care) Monthly Premium is $134.00

This figure is adjusted for high income, but most people don’t fall into the high-income category. $134.00 will be your monthly premium unless you make $85,000 per year or more as an individual or $170,000 filing jointly.

 

From this point, the cost of Medicare is heavily affected by which path you take. You can boil down all the madness into two basic choices: Medicare Advantage or Original (traditional) Medicare.

 

The Traditional Medicare Route

If you choose the Traditional Medicare route, you will want Medicare Supplement Insurance to fill in the gaps of what Medicare doesn’t cover. Otherwise, there will be no limit to your out-of-pocket spending. The premiums for a Medicare Supplement range from $45-146 per month. However, we often recommend a plan G, which typically costs $110 per month. This is a fairly standard premium. It puts into perspective what you can expect a Medicare Supplement Plan to cost.

 

To cover your medications, you will also need a Part D prescription drug plan, which will cost in additional premium anywhere between $15 to $128 monthly. The average cost for a drug plan is $35.63 in 2017. The out-of-pocket costs associated with Part D vary greatly depending on your medications. It is impossible to estimate without knowing your specific situation.

 

The Medicare Advantage Route

Offered as an alternative to Traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage is often the cheaper option when it comes to premiums. They are offered for prices within the range of $0-163 monthly with the average premium being approximately $60 per month. The Part D prescription drug plan is almost always rolled into the plan.

 

Caution: Check For Possible Out-of-pocket Costs

At first glance, it looks like the Medicare Advantage route is the obvious choice. But this fails to take into account the risk of out-of-pocket costs. With a Medicare Supplement (only available with Original Medicare), the maximum out-of-pocket is only $166-366 annually for Plan G. However, in an advantage plan, it is more of a pay-as-you-go approach. There are less monthly premiums; but copays, coinsurance, and deductibles are much higher. The potential out-of-pocket for an advantage plan can be as a high as $3500-6000 per year or more!

 

The Costs At a Glance


So there you have it! This should give you a good idea of what Medicare costs for the average 65-year old. But—as I said before—the cost of Medicare is different for every person. If you are still concerned about being able to afford Medicare, contact us for a free consultation. We will assess your financial and health situation to find an overall plan that meets your needs, concerns, and pocketbook. Ensuring you a successful and secure transition into retirement is our number one priority.

 

There are a lot circumstances that may prevent you from retiring. But I believe that the affordability of health insurance shouldn’t be one.

 

Disclaimer: Numbers are based on Ohio 45365.

 

Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!

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The Little Known Shortcut Out of an Advantage Plan You Hate

The Little Known Shortcut Out of an Advantage Plan You Hate

Buyer’s remorse. Everyone has been there. You might feel like you were misled, misinformed, or like you just plain missed it. But—regardless—it doesn’t feel good. And when you believe you’ve been locked into your purchase for a whole year—like people so often think after switching to an Advantage Plan—the regretful, trapped feeling only grows in intensity.

 

So you can imagine the relief when I tell my clients that there may still be a way out—a little known shortcut out of a seemingly costly dead end. This is exactly what I am telling you today.

 

It’s Called the Medicare Disenrollment Period

Extending from January 1st to February 14th every year, the Medicare Disenrollment Period offers you an outlet to drop the Advantage Plan you hate. All you have to do is call or write your Advantage Plan provider and notify them. From the time you drop your plan, the changes go into effect the 1st of the following month. No questions asked. You are then automatically signed up for traditional Medicare (Parts A and B).

 

Warning: Time Crunch Ahead

The vast majority of people will want to get on a Medicare Supplement before they dis-enroll from Medicare Advantage. If this is you, you want to plan ahead to ensure you have time to get it all done.

 

Although some people will have what is known as a “Guaranteed Issue Right” or a “trial right,” and therefore, won’t have to take the extra steps of getting approved, many people will not. In fact, most have a fairly cramped checklist to complete before February 14th arrives. They will have to

  1. Shop for a Medicare Supplement
  2. Apply for a plan (and undergo medical questioning)
  3. Receive letter of approval from the plan.
  4. Dis-enroll from their advantage plan.

All within the short 45-day disenrollment period! This is an especially difficult feat if the Medicare Supplement Company is running slow and the “receive letter of approval” portion of the to-do list takes 2 weeks or more.

 

So start early and finish the course way before Valentine’s Day. Because—although it may not say I love you—nothing kills romance like being stuck on a shoddy Advantage plan.

 

Any issues or concerns with your Advantage Plan? Contact Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation.

 

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Warning: Confusing Medicare and Social Security Eligibility Could Cost You Thousands!

Warning: Confusing Medicare and Social Security Eligibility Could Cost You Thousands!

Medicare and Social Security eligibility used to be the same. The full retirement age was 65, and you could receive full benefits for each program at that time.

 

However, it’s not that simple anymore. The full retirement age (FRA) is evolving. Ever since Ronald Reagan signed the 1983 SSA Amendments, the full retirement age has been creeping up. For people of the baby boomer generation, the FRA is now 66. So—in order to get full Social Security benefits—you now have to wait until age 66 to sign up.

 

But here’s what throws people for a loop: The time to sign up for Medicare is still 65, despite the change for Social Security. Not only will you be rewarded full Medicare benefits at 65, but you will also avoid costly penalties for signing up on time.

 

If you wait until 66 to sign up for Medicare (barring a qualifying reason), it’s already too late. The penalties that you have accrued will likely add up to well over $3000 throughout your lifetime.

 

Don’t believe me? Let’s crunch the numbers together.

 

We’ll Start With The Part B (Medical Insurance) Penalty.

The Part B penalty is an extra 10% added on to your monthly premium for every year you were late. In 2016, the Part B premium for most people is $121.80. So this is an easy calculation: 10% of $121.80 is an extra $12.80 per month.

 

This doesn’t sound too menacing, right? If you look at it in the right light, it’s actually kind of cute.

But don’t get too close. This cute and fuzzy fee will eat away at your lifesavings every month for the rest of your life. According to the SSA’s life expectancy calculator, the average 65 year-old can expect to live another 20 years—give or take a couple years. This comes out to 240 months. S0…take that $12.80 and multiply it by the 240 months of life expectancy, and you’ve got yourself $2,923 in penalties.

Nope…not nearly as cute.

 

But that’s not all.

 

You’ve Also Got the Part D (Drug Plan) Penalty.

Here’s how this one works: for every month that you were late, an extra 1% of the average drug plan cost in the U.S ($34.10 in 2016) is added on to your premium. So if you signed up a year late, you’ve got 12% of $34.10 in penalties. If you had a calculator handy, you will know that this number comes out to $4.09 per month. Again…not very scary. But multiply 4.09 by 240 months like we did previously, and it has grown into a terrifying $982 beast.

 

Adding It All Together

Ready for the grand reveal?

$2,923 Part B Penalty + $982 Part D Penalty = $3905.

Ouch!

 

Sure, it’s a big number. But what makes this number so tragic is not its size. It’s the fact that it was based on one, simple mistake. One mix-up. One aspect of Medicare left unexplored.

 

This is why Seniormark is so committed to educating our clients and the general public about Medicare. According to a Merill Lynch Retirement Survey, Less than 7% of people ages 55-64 feel very knowledgeable about their Medicare options. This is staggering! Knowledge saves retirees money!

 

So do yourself a favor and sign up for Medicare when you turn 65 unless you have a qualifying reason. And while you’re at it, learn as much as you can about your options. Knowledge is valuable. And you never know when a nugget of information will be pure gold, saving you thousands of dollars in mistakes.

 

Want to avoid costly Medicare mistakes and coast into your retirement hassle and penalty- free? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation. Our Medicare experts will walk you through the whole process at not cost to you.

 

Or, sign up for one of our free workshops — held in three convenient locations — Sidney, Troy, and Vandalia, Ohio.  You can sign up for one of them here:  workshop signup.

 

Why You Can Try a Medicare Advantage Plan at No Risk

Why You Can Try a Medicare Advantage Plan at No Risk

Infomercials have done it for years. When people feel uneasy about trying a new product, they offer a free trial or a money back guarantee. It provides security for the buyer to know that even if the supposed benefits of a product were oversold or blown out of proportion, he can still send it back. There’s no risk.

 

Well, Medicare offers something very similar. It’s called the “Medicare Advantage Trial Right”.

 

A lot of people are uncomfortable with trying Medicare Advantage because they don’t want to feel trapped in a plan they hate until the next Annual Enrollment Period. The trial period takes this risk away. As long as it will be your first time enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you qualify for Medicare Trial Right! This means that—no matter what time of year it is—you can drop your Medicare Advantage plan with no penalty and enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan. This “free trial” period lasts 12 months from the date the Advantage Plan coverage goes into effect.

 

But as the infomercial cliché puts so obnoxiously…

 

WAIT…There’s More!

Some people believe that if they have pre-existing conditions and get on an Advantage Plan, they will be denied switching back to a Medicare Supplement Policy based on their health. In other words, they think that if they give up their Supplement for an Advantage Plan, they will never get it back. But that’s where the “money back guarantee” part of the deal comes in. Regardless of health, the Medicare Trial Right guarantees that you will be able to get back on a Supplement, no medical underwriting involved.

 

It’s true that Medicare Advantage plans are alluring with their sometimes shockingly low premiums. But they aren’t always the right fit for retirees. They change unpredictably and can be quite a hassle. This is why the Trial Right is so beneficial. It allows you to try a plan on for size, and then toss it back on the rack. To test drive it around the block, and then park it in the lot if it doesn’t meet your standards. And all the while, it guarantees that your old, trusty Medicare Supplement will be there.

 

Want to look into switching to a Medicare Advantage Plan? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation.

 

Other questions about what to do during Medicare Annual Enrollment?  Download our Annual Enrollment Checklist and you can relax when it is complete!

 

 

Don’t “Set It and Forget It” This Annual Enrollment Season!

Don’t “Set It and Forget It” This Annual Enrollment Season!

 

Does anyone remember Ron Popeil? If you don’t, allow me to rephrase the question. Does anyone remember the “set it and forget it” infomercial king?

 

I bet it’s ringing a bell now.

 

I, for one, can still see him in his green apron, armed with nothing but some well-seasoned meats and a fancy rotisserie cooker, taking the cheesy and overly scripted infomercial world by storm: “All you have to do is…” The unrealistically enthused audience chants, “SET IT AND FORGET IT!”

 

He was like the Billy Mays of the 70s, but with food instead of cleaning products.

 

But I digress…back to the topic at hand. The reason I retrieved this slogan from memory lane is to make a point: Many people have the “set it and forget it” mindset with their Medicare Health Insurance Plans. They think that once they undergo the process of enrolling in Medicare, enrolling in supplemental coverage or an Advantage plan, and signing up for a drug plan that they never have to change anything again. Happily ever after.

 

But this just isn’t true. Yes, most of the work is done. And you’ve definitely done the minimum to get by. But there’s a good chance your situation will change over time. And, even if your situation doesn’t change, there is a very good chance your health care plans will, oftentimes drastically. This leaves you in an ill-fitting plan that doesn’t meet your needs or your budget. You may need to switch!

 

When it comes to Medicare Annual Enrollment, there is a reason for the season. From October 15—December 7, you have the opportunity to make strategic changes to your health care plans.

 

Here are 3 reasons you might need to make changes this year!

 

1.  The Medicare Supplement Creep

Medicare Supplements are typically consistent from year to year. The benefits are guaranteed to stay the same, and the premiums rarely increase drastically. But the premium cost almost always creeps up, dollar by dollar, slowly but surely.

 

If you stay on that ride for too long, you could end up paying $100+ more a month than you should. In fact, if you have been in the same Medicare Supplement Plan for 4-5 years, there’s a good chance you’re paying too much for it. Shopping around for a better deal this year could save you hundreds…and all without reducing your coverage.

 

REMINDER: You can change your Medicare Supplement any time of year, not just annual enrollment.

 

2.  The Advantage Plan Leap

There are so many aspects of an Advantage Plan that can frog around over time. The deductible may go up. The premium may go down. You might have higher copays. Your coinsurance might drop. And beyond benefits and price, doctors and hospitals may go in and out of your plan’s network. A doctor available to you this year, may not be available the next.

 

This is why it is important to review your plan. Is your family doctor still within the plan’s network? Is it still the best value for you? If you simply set it, forget it and let it skate by another year, you’ll never know.

 

3.  The Drug Plan Drop

A drug plan may vary in cost from year to year, but what you really need to check is the list of medications the policy covers, also known as the formulary.

 

Over the years, a drug plan may discontinue or reduce coverage on certain medications. Imagine if the drug it discontinued was your most expensive one, and you didn’t realize it. Yeah…it could be a financial disaster.

 

Review Your Plan This Year!

So make sure to take control of your health insurance options. Review your plans, and take careful note of all the changes. The “set it and forget it” philosophy might work well for cooking chickens, but it doesn’t work for this.

 

For your health insurance, I offer another slogan: If you set it and forget it, you might regret it.

 

Maybe that will catch on…

 

Yeah…probably not.

 

If you haven’t already downloaded our Annual Enrollment Checklist, there is no time like the present!  Make sure you have completed it — and then you can forget it — until next year this time!  Download it here:  https://seniormark.com/annual-enrollment-period-checklist/.

 

Looking to review your plans with a Certified Senior Advisor? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation.