Attention Retirees: Premiums Shouldn’t Rule Your Healthcare Plan Decisions
It is easy to do. If you’ve got a tight budget to think about, a drug plan with a low monthly premium is appealing. And if your past is fraught with health scares, it feels more secure to go with a high premium Medicare Supplement for “more comprehensive coverage”.
But you’ve got a lot more to consider when it comes to healthcare decisions: deductibles, coinsurance, copays, and medications, just to name a few. “Tunnel vision” focus on premiums will not help you make a smart decision.
Here are two examples why:
Lower Does Not Mean Better.
For a drug plan, people get in big trouble choosing a low premium drug plan hastily. Just because your friend or neighbor has an $18 per month drug plan that works for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you.
You have to consider your medications. Different drug plans cover medications at varying levels. If you are on an expensive drug and it isn’t on that plan’s formulary, it isn’t covered. If it is on a different tier, it could affect the dollar amount of copays you spend. Saving $10-15 a month on premiums isn’t worth it if you are paying an extra $150 a month on copays, coinsurance, or uncovered drugs. Pay the extra in premium for a drug plan that is right for you. Lower isn’t always better!
Higher isn’t always better, either.
I find that perceptions sometimes flip when it comes to Medicare Supplement Insurance. Clients believe that the most expensive and comprehensive plan is right for them, employing “you get what you pay for” logic. This saying is true a lot of times, but not always.
For instance, you can save approximately $20 per month by switching from a plan G to a plan N. The only difference between these two is a couple copays: $20 for office visits and $50 for emergency room visits.
This is where I lose people. They just don’t want the copays. But take a closer look. Is the free doctor and emergency room visits worth the extra $240 a year in premium? If you’re in good health, you probably only go to the doctor a few times a year for a general wellness test. It might save you $200 per year to go with a lesser coverage plan. In this case, it’s not worth it. When you compare the most comprehensive Plan F with G (see our blog “Underrated Plan G” by clicking here), you have another example, and that one is a no-brainer!
Of course, these choices are still up to you and your preferences. All I am asking you to do is not let premiums rule your decisions.
I’ve seen it work. Free thought leads to better value, all the time!
Need help shopping a Medicare Supplement Plan? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation!