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Top 7 Questions to Ask When Shopping for Medicare Insurance

A man and his wife are excited to shop for Medicare with the help of SelectQuote

Medicare insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Whether it’s the cost of premiums, the carrier, prescription drug coverage or extra benefits, there’s a lot to consider when shopping for Medicare. Here are the top 7 questions to ask as you explore your Medicare insurance options. 

  1. Does Basic Medicare insurance cover my needs or will I need additional coverage?

    Unfortunately, Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B don’t cover everything. In fact, Medicare only pays about 80% of your Medical expenses. Additional options such as Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance plans could potentially help you fill that 20% gap.

  2. What is the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans?

    Medicare Advantage plans—also referred to as Medicare Part C—provide an alternative to Original Medicare. These plans are approved by Medicare and are offered by private health insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans offer the same benefits as Original Medicare but can also include additional coverage, such as routine vision or dental benefits, prescription drugs or health wellness programs.

    Medicare Supplement plans—also known as Medigap Insurance—help cover gaps in coverage from Medicare Part A and Part B. If you have fairly frequent doctor or hospital visits, you’ll likely end up with out-of-pocket costs. Medigap can help fill the gaps in basic benefits, such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

    This worksheet can help you determine what type of plan could fit your needs.

  3. Can I still go to my preferred doctor, specialist and hospital?

    Under Original Medicare, you can go to any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, and in most cases, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll likely need to use doctor’s who are in the plan’s network. You can ask your doctor if they participate in any Medicare Advantage plans.

  4. Are my prescription drugs covered?

    Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t typically cover all prescription drug costs. In fact, Medicare requires that you obtain a Medicare Prescription Drug plan even if you aren’t currently taking any prescriptions. If you are without credible prescription drug coverage for 63 days or more, a penalty can be added to your Medicare Part D premium when you do enroll.1 Medicare Part D provides Medicare beneficiaries access to retail prescription drugs with affordable copays.

  5. What Medicare plans cover hearing, dental and vision care?

    Medicare Advantage plans include the coverage of Part A and Part B, and can also include prescription drug, hearing, dental and vision coverage. Not only do Medicare Advantage plans have extra benefits, they are typically very affordable.

  6. How do I use my Medicare insurance coverage?

    After enrolling in Medicare, you receive a red, white and blue Medicare card by mail. Your Medicare card is unique to you (much like your social security card) and shows whether you have Medicare Part A, Part B or both. You’ll also receive an additional card if you choose to have a Medicare Advantage Plan. You’ll want to carry your Medicare cards with you and let your doctor, hospital or other health care provider see your cards if you need medical care.

  7. Am I covered if I travel?

    If you have Original Medicare, you should have coverage anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan may or may not cover care outside of its service area.

    Some Medigap plans provide for foreign travel emergency care while some plans do not. If you often travel outside the United States, that will be important to keep in mind while enrolling, to ensure you’re getting a plan with the type of coverage you need.

Let SelectQuote Help You Understand Your Medicare Insurance Options

Figuring out which Medicare plan is right for you isn’t something you have to do on your own. Once you better understand the basics, save yourself the time and the hassle of navigating Medicare and let us do it for you. In just minutes, we can compare Medicare options from some of the most trusted carriers to find the right coverage for you. The personalized service is free and there’s no obligation to enroll.

1 https://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/11109-Your-Guide-to-Medicare-Prescrip-Drug-Cov.pdf

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