Choosing The Right Medicare

By: CIFS Staff

Choosing The Right Medicare

Choosing the right Medicare coverage can be a daunting task for many seniors. There are different types of plans, costs, benefits, and eligibility criteria to consider. In this article, we will provide an outline of some methods that can help you make an informed decision. We will also cite some reliable sources of information that can guide you through the process.

The first method is to compare the different types of Medicare plans available. These include:

- Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), which covers hospital and medical services, but not prescription drugs, dental, vision, or hearing care.

- Medicare Advantage (Part C), which is an alternative to Original Medicare that offers all the benefits of Part A and Part B, plus additional benefits such as prescription drugs, dental, vision, or hearing care. However, you may have to use a network of providers and pay more out-of-pocket costs.

- Medicare Supplement (Medigap), which is a type of insurance that helps pay for some of the costs that Original Medicare does not cover, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You need to have Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medigap plan.

- Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D), which is a standalone plan that covers prescription drugs. You can add Part D to Original Medicare or some Medigap plans.

To compare the different types of plans, you can use the [Medicare Plan Finder]( tool on the official Medicare website. This tool allows you to enter your zip code, health status, medications, and preferences, and then shows you a list of plans that match your needs. You can also see the costs, benefits, ratings, and reviews of each plan.

The second method is to consult with a trusted advisor or expert who can help you understand your options and choose the best plan for you. Some examples of advisors or experts are:

- A [State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)]( counselor, who is a trained volunteer who provides free, unbiased, and personalized counseling on Medicare issues.

- A [Medicare Savings Program (MSP)]( worker, who is a state employee who can help you apply for programs that can lower your Medicare costs.

- A licensed insurance agent or broker, who is a professional who sells Medicare plans and can help you compare and enroll in a plan. However, you should be aware that agents or brokers may receive commissions from the plans they sell and may not represent all the plans in your area.

To find an advisor or expert near you, you can use the [Find Someone Who Can Help]( tool on the official Medicare website. This tool allows you to search by your location and the type of assistance you need.

The third method is to do your own research and educate yourself on the basics of Medicare. There are many resources available online that can help you learn more about how Medicare works, what it covers, and how to enroll. Some examples of resources are:

- The [Medicare & You]( handbook, which is a comprehensive guide that explains everything you need to know about Medicare. You can download it from the official Medicare website or request a printed copy by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

- The [Medicare Rights Center](, which is a nonprofit organization that provides information, advocacy, and assistance on Medicare issues. You can visit their website or call their helpline at 1-800-333-4114.

- The [AARP](, which is a nonprofit organization that offers information, tools, and resources for seniors on various topics, including Medicare. You can visit their website or call their toll-free number at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277).

By using these methods, you can make an informed choice about your Medicare coverage and enjoy the benefits of quality health care.

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