How to choose a plan that fits you

Muddling through Medicare information can go from bewildering to downright frustrating. How do you select a plan that’s right for you? Consider asking yourself the following questions before selecting a plan.

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What Coverage do I need?

Medicare coverage isn’t one size fits all. It comes in pieces so you can tailor it to yourself. Anticipating what you need and knowing your options are critical to  getting the affordable care you need to stay healthy. Here’s a short plan of attack:
  1. First, self-reflect and examine your current medical situation. If you’re managing a chronic condition and/or taking brand-name drugs, your needs will vary greatly from someone who just wants to carry hospital coverage in case of an emergency.
    • Think about the types of doctors you see, how often you see them, and where they are located. If they’re not in your plan’s network, you’ll pay more (possibly 100%) to see them.
    • Consider the types of prescriptions you take and where you fill them. If you take brand-name drugs, you’ll likely benefit from having Part D coverage. Find out if your plan has a preferred pharmacy and/or mail order program— using these options can offer savings.
    • Try to anticipate potential future needs like medical supplies, surgeries, or nursing home care.
    • Some plans only cover you while you’re in certain areas of the country or home state. If you spend significant time away from home, you will want a policy that covers you both at home and while you travel.
    • Plans change every year. If there are aspects of your plan that you depend on, be sure they’ll still be available. And if your plan doesn’t change, it’s still worth looking at other options to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.
  1. Second, know your options. Do you need hospital coverage (Part A), healthcare services (Part B), prescription drugs (Part D), or all of the above (Part C, otherwise known as Medicare Advantage)? You can go with Original Medicare (Part A, Part B, or both), Original Medicare plus Part D, or Medicare Advantage (Part C). You can also get a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP) or Supplement Insurance Plans to help with the costs Original Medicare doesn’t cover. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

What is this going to cost?

Medicare isn’t free, and it doesn’t cover everything. Once you’ve determined your coverage needs, you need to do the math. Tally your expenses from last year and estimate your future expenditures, including out-of-pocket costs for premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and prescriptions. (An unexpected hospital visit, name-brand drug, or out-of-network provider could blow your budget!)

Next, compare the coverage and cost options from the government and private insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Call Humana at 1-844-882-7607 (TTY: 711, Mon – Fri, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., 7 days a week) for more information on ways to save. In the meantime, here are some important facts:

  • Part A is free if you have paid Social Security for at least 10 years; otherwise, there are premiums.
  • Part B requires you to pay premiums, co-pays, and other service charges similar to private insurance companies.
  • You can opt-out of Part A or B when you get your Medicare card so that you’re not paying for more than you need.
  • Part D can be purchased as a stand-alone option.
  • Parts C and D are only available through private insurance companies, such as Humana.

Where do I sign up?

You can enroll in Medicare as soon as you become eligible. There is also an enrollment period every year from October 15 to December 7. Once you’ve selected your plan, you can call 800-MEDICARE, visit opens in new window) , or call Humana at 1-844-882-7607 (TTY: 711, Mon – Fri, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., 7 days a week) to sign up.

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