Maximizing your Medicare benefits can help you save money and stay healthy. Here are six ways to help you make the most of your Medicare coverage.
Understand Medicare Coverage Options
Getting familiar with Medicare is the first step to making the most of your coverage. We’ll go over briefly what Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap are so you can understand Medicare coverage options a little better.
Original Medicare has two parts, Part A and Part B. Part A is your hospital benefits, and Part B is your outpatient medical services. While most people who have worked in the U.S. qualify for premium-free Part A, most Americans will pay a monthly premium of $170.10 for Part B. Though there is no retail prescription drug coverage directly from Original Medicare, Part D prescription drug plans are offered through private insurance companies and federally regulated by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) plans are private insurance plans offered by insurance companies rather than through the government. Medicare Advantage plans vary on costs, network restrictions, and benefits, so it’s important to do your homework if you want to go this route.
Medigap plans help cover the costs between what Original Medicare pays for and what you are left to pay out-of-pocket. These plans work in unison with your Original Medicare benefits. And while they are provided by private insurance companies, these plans are standardized by Medicare, so no matter which company you choose, your Medicap plan will have the same benefits as a different company.
Review What Your Plan Covers
Once you’ve figured out what Medicare option is the right one for you, you need to know how the plan will work for you. Knowing what your plan covers will help you to utilize all its benefits. For example, with Original Medicare, you can rest assured that 93% of primary care doctors in the U.S. accept Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans can be a little stricter, so you will want to determine which doctors are in your plan’s network, but also which additional benefits you’ll receive.
Take Advantage of Preventative Care Benefits
Original Medicare offers all beneficiaries an annual wellness visit. Along with this appointment, you’ll have access to many other preventative services and vaccinations. Some of these services and screenings include:
- Bone mass measurement
- Breast cancer screening
- Cardiovascular disease screenings
- Colorectal cancer screenings
- The flu shot
- Hepatitis B shot
Take advantage of your coverage and these great preventative benefits to help you stay healthy!
Plan for Health Care Costs
Depending on which plan you choose, there are still a variety of costs you’ll have to keep in mind. For example, with Original Medicare, there is no annual limit on your out-of-pocket responsibility. It’s important to plan for health care costs ahead of time, rather than being surprised by out-of-pocket costs. The best course of action is to choose the right plan for your budget. Then either start a retirement savings account or get a Medigap plan to assist with those other costs.
Try to Save Money on Prescription Drugs
Oftentimes, Medicare beneficiaries are paying far more than they should for their prescription drugs. But there are a few actionable ways you can take to save money today. First, talk to your doctor about generic alternatives to the drug you’re on. Generic versions are often cheaper and work the same as name-brand versions. Using a home delivery pharmacy may also be able to help you save. You can order a three-month supply of medication for a lower cost than you would if you got the same supply at a local drug store.
Get Help from Jeffery Insurance
If you need help making the most of your Medicare plan, or just need help understanding Medicare in general, we are here for you. We are based in Scottsdale but are happy to assist you no matter where you are in Arizona. We are Arizona’s health care resource!