Medicare Open Enrollment: What to Consider When Comparing Plans

By Jane Reese Wilkins

When choosing a health plan, cost, coverage, and benefits are important, but here are some additional things you may want to consider as you compare Medicare options this year:

Jane Reese Wilkins
[/media-credit] Jane Reese Wilkins

Doctor and hospital choice: Do your doctors accept the coverage? Do you pay less if you choose your hospital and health care providers from the plan’s network? Remember that plan networks can change from year to year.

Pharmacy access: Is the pharmacy you use included in your drug plan’s network? If it’s important to you to stay with the same pharmacy, it’s worth checking to make sure they’ll still be in your plan’s network. Do they use electronic prescribing? Can you get refills by mail?

Travel: Maybe you travel a lot, or spend part of the year in a different state. If you do, see if your plan will cover you when you travel.

Quality: Ask yourself if you’re satisfied with your medical care. The doctors, hospitals and facilities you choose can impact your health.

The Medicare Plan Finder features a star rating system for Medicare health and drug plans. The “Overall Star Rating” gives an overall rating of the plan’s quality and performance for the types of services each plan offers. Look for plans with a 5 star performance rating—the right expertise and care may help speed your recovery and improve your health outcomes.

Our Medicare Plan Finder is updated and ready with all of the 2019 health and drug plan information. New this year, you can get a more personalized experience by logging in with your MyMedicare account. And, if you have a question while logged into MyMedicare, you can chat with one of our customer service representatives without having to leave the website. You also can still do a general search by entering just a ZIP code or log in with your Medicare number and a few other pieces of information.

Only you know what mix of coverage, access and quality is most important to you.

This article originally appeared in the Pasadena Journal.

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