How To Find A Medicare Plan That Won’t Have Hidden Costs

From chronic diseases to broken bones, most people will encounter at least one problem in their life that will land them in the hospital. Whether it’s a not-so-happy accident or a life-changing illness, having access to the care you need is essential- and potentially life-saving. That’s where health insurance plans come in. In America, attending checkups and emergency room visits can get costly quickly. Fortunately, finding a health insurance plan that meets your needs can help offset costs. Unfortunately, not every plan is made equal. Competing plans will boast different ways they can save you money, but sometimes it’s difficult to conjure up a transparent pro vs. con list. Medicare provides a plethora of different health insurance plans, but the fees aren’t always easy to assess. On the hunt for a Medicare plan, but don’t want to sift through the jargon? See below for the secrets to finding health insurance without hidden costs.

Understand Your Needs

While paying more for lower costs sounds appealing, this is rarely actually the case. When it comes to Medicare, some of the most common plans include original Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage. What you choose should first and foremost be dictated by what your healthcare needs are. If you are above the age of 65, Medicare makes sense for most Americans. However, several different components make up Medicare coverage. Part A refers to hospital expenses (inpatient facility, nursing facility), while Part B refers to medical expenses (outpatient, doctors, equipment). In addition to these, there are Parts C (referred to as Medicare Advantage) and D (prescriptions and vaccines). It’s important to understand what the offerings are, as this will dictate what kind of plan you choose. Medicare Advantage is a bundled offer, and can sometimes have lower premiums, but won’t have static costs. Additionally, the copaying model can make any of these options expensive if you find yourself making frequent hospital visits.

Review the Network

One of the largest benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan is the seemingly low costs, but you may want to review the preferred network first. To take advantage of Medicare Advantage HMO plans you’ll have to first get a referral, and then visit only the specific facilities and health care professionals that fall within the pre-approved network. If you need to visit a specialist or anyone who is categorized as out-of-network, prices will soar. It’s a good idea to carefully consider your options before taking the plunge. If there is a facility or specialist that is important to your care but not included in the HMO, you might be safer going with an alternate plan.

Consider Prescriptions 

When it comes to healthcare, some of the most commonly required items are prescriptions. Unfortunately, prescriptions and vaccines are not covered by parts A and B of the Medicare system. Because of this, one of the top complaints about the affordability of health care plans is access to over-the-counter drugs. To combat this, it’s important to know how important prescription drugs are for your sustained health. If you won’t be needing many prescription pills, a Medigap plan could do the trick. It’s crucial to find health plans that provide prescription deductibles. While Medicare Advantage plans usually offer prescription coverage, don’t forget that you will have to copay on doctor’s meetings, and could have to copay multiple times for the same or similar services.

Will You Need Supplemental Insurance?

If you are already partially covered by your employer or don’t require frequent medical materials or procedures, you may not need supplemental insurance at all. Most people who already have partial coverage will opt for an original Medicare plan as it is a more reliable way to budget medical expenses. However, if you think you’ll be requiring supplemental insurance, there are two ways you can go. The first is to use a Medicare Plan with a Medigap supplement to take care of all costs not covered by the basic insurance. The advantage to this is the costs are standardized and are easy to plan for. The second option available to you is to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, as this rolls the coverages into one. However, it’s important to note that the brunt of the expenses incurred under this plan will have to be paid at the time of procedure rather than as a monthly fee.

As you get older, the need for healthcare becomes an inevitability. However, it shouldn’t be one that constantly surprises you with extra fees. To feel good about your insurance plan you should know exactly what is and isn’t included in your expenses. By assessing your current health requirements, lifestyle habits, and supplemental needs you’ll be better positioned to make an informed decision. Hopefully, the tips above have shone a light on some of the most common issues with healthcare plans and will help you avoid buried costs. By doing the research now, you’re investing in your future. Surprises and accidents will happen, but as long as you’re prepared, you’ll sleep well knowing that you’re covered.