Every year during the Open Enrollment period, you have the opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plan. If you have a qualifying event, like a loss of your current coverage or got married, you might be able to make changes to your Medicare plan even if it is not during the open enrollment time.
It can cost you plenty if you do not have the right Medicare coverage to meet your needs. Massive medical bills are a prime reason why many people file for bankruptcy. A Florida estate planning attorney can explain how you can protect your hard-earned savings and how you can go about evaluating your options during Medicare Open Enrollment.
Review Your Medical Expenses for the Previous 12 Months
Add up how much you had to pay for deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and uncovered medical expenses during the most recent 12 months. If your out-of-pocket costs were nominal, you might want to keep your existing Medicare plan. If you had to spend a small or large fortune on your healthcare, it might be time to switch to a different plan.
Evaluate why your costs were so high. You might need a specific prescription drug that your Medicare plan does not cover. You might want to look for a plan that does pay for the prescriptions you need. If your current coverage includes your prescribed drugs, but at a great cost, you could check to see how much those medications will cost with a different plan. Sometimes, non-Medicare options are your best bet, like a prescription savings program. Some, like Good Rx or PharmacyChecker, are free apps or websites that cost you nothing to use.
Make a list of what you need from your Medicare plan. Medicare Parts A and B, also called “original Medicare,” do not cover all of the things that some Medicare optional plans do. Some plans now cover dental, vision, or hearing. Some plans have low or no deductible. You can even find a Medicare plan that helps you pay for transportation to medical appointments.
The Cost of Your Current Coverage
Consider how much you pay in premiums for your coverage. If your Medicare premiums are causing you financial pain every month, you might want to explore less expensive plans. Let’s say that you have good health and do not take any prescriptions or can get those medications at low cost through a prescription savings app.
Rather than paying hundreds of dollars a month for full-coverage health insurance, you might think about switching to a Medicare plan with a higher deductible that includes a few office visits a year. Compare the total annual premiums to the risk of having to pay the deductible once a year or less often.
If you have sufficient savings to pay the deductible, you might be ahead financially with that type of plan and reduce the monthly worry of cash flow problems.
These are only a few of the factors you should consider during open enrollment. A Florida estate planning attorney can help you craft an estate plan that integrates the management of your healthcare costs into your overall financial strategy. Contact our office today.