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Navigated to Medicare Advantage plans 2024: 5 questions you should ask before choosing a plan page

Medicare Advantage plans 2024: 5 questions you should ask before choosing a plan

Choosing a new plan is not an easy feat. Here’s how to weigh the pros and cons of each plan and figure out which one will best meet your needs.

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When it comes to Medicare, there are a lot of options and choices to consider. As someone who is eligible for Medicare, it's important to think about your health and lifestyle as you make decisions about your Medicare plan. For example, you might want to make sure that your preferred doctor is in-network, or you may be looking for extra benefits such as vision, dental, or hearing coverage. It's important to consider all of your specific needs when shopping for a plan.

1. What are my deal breakers or non-negotiables for a Medicare plan?

Before you start shopping for a Medicare plan, it's important to think about the things you absolutely need from your plan. For example, maybe you have daily medications that you need covered, specific doctors you want to continue seeing, or another benefit that is important to you. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves to guide you as you compare available plans.

2. Are my doctors in-network or out-of-network? Do I have flexibility to see any doctor, whether in-network or out-of-network?

Whether or not your doctor is in-network or out-of-network depends on whether your health plan has a contract with them. If they do have a contract with that doctor, then they are in-network. If they don’t, then they are out-of-network and may charge you full price for their services.

Some Medicare plans limit you to seeing only in-network doctors, while others give you more flexibility to see any doctor, including specialists, whether they are in- or out-of-network. Consider whether seeing any doctor is important to you, and how this might impact your choice of Medicare plan.

3. Do I need extra benefits such as vision, dental or hearing coverage? How about drug coverage?

Extra benefits such as vision, dental, and hearing coverage, as well as prescription drug coverage, can be important. For example, if you value things like coverage for dental and vision care, take note of plans that offer these perks.

If you need your medications covered, you may want to look for a Medicare plan that includes this benefit, which is known as Medicare drug coverage (Part D). There are two ways to get Part D coverage:

  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or other Medicare health plan with drug coverage. Most Medicare Advantage plans include drug coverage. This way, you’ll get your Part A, Part B and Part D covered.
  • Enroll in a Medicare drug plan. These plans add Part D to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Advantage Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans.

4. What types of care do I think I’ll need in the next year?

Think about the types of healthcare you anticipate needing in the next year. For example, if you have an upcoming trip abroad, you may want to consider coverage for emergency care while traveling. Additionally, if you anticipate changes in your health that may require more frequent doctor visits or new medications, take that into account when choosing a plan.

For situations like these, you may want to consider a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan on top of Original Medicare.

5. When can I sign up for a Medicare plan?

There are different periods for signing up for Medicare. You may have an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) around the time of your 65th birthday, an Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) each year, or a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you experience a life event like losing other health coverage.

How Devoted can help:

We have licensed representatives available to help you with your questions or answer more questions about Devoted Health Medicare Advantage plans. Call us at 1-800-483-8066 (TTY 711) for personalized assistance.

You can also learn more about your Medicare options in this free Medicare Comparison Guide.

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