The new 2012 Medicare & You booklets have been mailed and Medicare eligibles are receiving mailings from insurers daily about their products. This booklet contains over 150 pages of details about Medicare and the related Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans.
Here are some of the key things to consider when choosing coverage for 2012:
Don’t procrastinate or just assume that your current coverage is best for you. The older we get, the less likely we are to risk a change, even though it might be a substantial financial saving. Inertia is the easy way out, though not necessarily the best.
A few years ago, when I no longer had coverage through my employer, a friend suggested a Medicare Advantage Plan, something I had never heard of. They said they were paying no premiums and had very good coverage. I didn’t believe them, assuming they weren’t giving me the whole story. My wife and I and several good friends met with their plan representative and I became convinced that this type of plan was best for me. For various personal and health reasons it was not best for some of the others, but I switched to a Medicare Advantage Plan and still am covered with the same company, under a similar plan, pay $0.00 premiums, and am saving hundreds of dollars every year. My wife has a slightly different plan with the same company because her health needs are different. But her premiums, like mine, are $0.00. There are also plans that include premiums and offer a higher level of coverage on certain items.
There is a medical plan out there that is best for every situation. You just have to find it. I am not recommending any specific plan type or insurance company, just advising each person to do what is best for them. In my next post I will try to be specific about what questions to ask and how to find the plan that is right for you.
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