When you are examining Medicare supplement plans during the open enrollment period, you need to carefully consider the cost of your Medicare plan and how it impacts your life. Keep in mind that costs can change from year-to-year, so don't assume that your healthcare costs will be the same with your current plan next year.
Consideration #1: Your Current Financial Situation
First, you need to carefully consider your current financial situation. Are you still in the same financial situation that you were in a year ago, or has your income increased or decreased? Some parts of Medicare insurance are need-based, so your costs can change based on changes in your income. Changes in your income may also cause you to want or need to adjust the money you are spending on healthcare. The premium and out-of-pocket costs can vary from one plan to the next, so it is important for you to consider what you can afford. Your healthcare expenses shouldn't break your budget.
Consideration #2: Total Projected Plan Costs
Most Medicare plans will offer you information that will allow you to see both the monthly projected cost of using the plan as well as the annual cost. They will let you know the minimum, as well as the maximum amount, you will have to pay for your healthcare.
Look at the total projected cost for the plan you are currently on and for the plans that you could join. Think about how the projected costs will impact your budget, and what you think your costs will be. If you are actively using your insurance to treat specific health conditions, for example, you are going to want to pay closer attention to the maximum projected numbers for any healthcare plan you are interested in.
Consideration #3: Your Current Health Situation
Third, you need to carefully consider your current health situation. How often have you been visiting your doctor? Have you been paying more copays and deductibles? Or have you gotten close to the maximum for out-of-pocket expenses?
Carefully evaluate what you have been paying for healthcare and see if any other plans will allow you to get the same coverage while paying less for that coverage.
When it comes time for the Medicare open enrollment period, where you can sign up for the supplemental Medicare plans, be sure to carefully consider your current financial situation, your current health situation, and the overall cost of using your healthcare plan. Use these considerations to help guide you to the best plan for your family.
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