Allsup Highlights 10 Crucial Questions To Consider During Medicare Open Enrollment Starting Oct. 15, 2023
Understanding your medical needs and requirements can streamline the Medicare plan selection process, according to Allsup healthcare benefits expert
Belleville, Illinois – Oct. 6, 2023 – Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, is designed to empower individuals to select a plan that aligns with their healthcare necessities. However, the plethora of options can sometimes be daunting, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of disability and Medicare plan selection services, whose healthcare benefit experts assist individuals with selecting the Medicare coverage that matches their needs.
“Choosing a Medicare plan is a significant decision that has a direct impact on an individual’s health and finances. It’s imperative to make an informed choice by considering various factors that align with one’s healthcare priorities,” said Bethany Cissell, Allsup Account Executive and healthcare benefit specialist.
“This is especially critical when workers are eligible for both their employer group health plan and Medicare, in terms of comparing the advantages that Medicare may offer them,” Cissell said. More U.S. workers are delaying retirement and reaching Medicare-eligibility while still working as detailed in a recent survey.
10 Questions To Guide Medicare Choices
Allsup healthcare benefit experts are committed to assisting individuals in finding the most cost-effective Medicare plan that caters to their specific needs. Cissell suggested starting with the identification and prioritization of your needs.
Here are 10 important questions to guide you:
- What are the different Medicare plans available in my area? Depending on your location, you might have access to numerous plans, including traditional Medicare, Medigap Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans. It’s essential to explore all available options to make an informed decision.
- How does the plan address my pre-existing conditions? For example, Medigap generally does not cover pre-existing conditions if you do not qualify for a Guaranteed-Issue Right. However, Medicare Advantage plans are mandated to provide coverage for these conditions. Understanding the nuances can help in selecting a plan that best suits your health needs.
- Is my preferred doctor included in the plan’s network? It’s important to verify whether your preferred healthcare providers are part of the plan’s network. This information can be crucial in deciding between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans.
- What kind of prescription drug coverage does the plan offer? Analyze the prescription drug coverage provided by the plan, including the associated costs and the extent of medication coverage. Resources like the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage can offer insights into various plans’ offerings.
- Does the plan cover essential medical equipment? Ensure that the plan covers necessary medical equipment such as wheelchairs and hospital beds. Comparing the offerings of traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans can provide a clearer picture.
- What additional services like dental, vision, and hearing does the plan cover? Some Medicare Advantage plans offer extended coverage for dental, vision, and hearing care. You may want to prioritize these additional services while choosing a plan.
- What are the premium costs associated with the plan? Understanding the premium costs, along with other out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays and deductibles, can aid in selecting a plan that aligns with your financial capabilities.
- Are there any other potential costs I should be aware of? Be cognizant of other potential costs such as deductibles and co-insurance that might be associated with the plan. These costs can significantly affect your overall healthcare budget.
- How are the plans rated? Consider the ratings provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to gauge the overall quality of the plans. These ratings are based on various factors, including the efficiency in illness prevention and the responsiveness in handling appeals.
- What happens if I don’t make a choice during the enrollment period? Understanding the implications of not choosing a plan during the enrollment period can prevent potential penalties and surcharges in the future.
Medicare plan selection services are available to help individuals make healthcare buying decisions during Medicare open enrollment, including as a component of employers’ benefits programs in order to support their Medicare-eligible employees. “As individuals navigate through these questions, it’s vital to pinpoint their priorities, which can significantly streamline the selection process,” Cissell said.
Find more information from Allsup about healthcare selection services, and Medicare selection assistance as part of employers’ benefits programs online. To reach an Allsup healthcare benefit expert, call (888) 271-1173.
Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, return to work, and healthcare benefits services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Learn more at Allsup.com and @Allsup or download a free PDF of Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance: Getting It Right The First Time.