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Consider these 7 things when choosing coverage

How much are your premiums, deductibles, and other costs? How much do you pay for services like hospital stays or doctor visits? Is there a yearly limit on what you could pay out-of-pocket for medical services? Make sure you understand any coverage rules that may affect your costs.

There’s no limit on how much you pay out-of pocket per year unless you have supplemental coverage.

Plans have a yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, once you reach a certain limit, you’ll pay nothing for covered services for the rest of the year. This option may be more cost effective for you.

Note

If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) your plan sends you each year, usually in the fall. The EOC gives you details about what the plan covers, how much you pay, and more. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area effective in January. If you don't get an EOC or ANOC, contact your plan. Get your plan's contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name.

How well does the plan cover the services you need?

Medicare covers medical services and supplies in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other health care settings. Services are either covered under Part A or Part B.

Plans must cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers. Many plans offer benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover like vision, hearing, or dental.

Note

If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) your plan sends you each year, usually in the fall. The EOC gives you details about what the plan covers, how much you pay, and more. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area effective in January. If you don't get an EOC or ANOC, contact your plan. Get your plan's contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name.

If you have other types of health or prescription drug coverage, make sure you understand how that coverage works with Medicare. If you have employment-related coverage, or get your health care from an Indian Health or Tribal Health Program, talk to your benefits administrator or insurer before making any changes.

You can add a Medigap policy to help pay your out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare, like your deductible and coinsurance .

It may be more cost effective for you to join a Medicare Advantage Plan because your cost sharing is lower (or included). And, many Medicare Advantage plans offer vision, hearing, and dental. You can’t use (and can’t be sold) a Medigap policy if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Note

If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) your plan sends you each year, usually in the fall. The EOC gives you details about what the plan covers, how much you pay, and more. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area effective in January. If you don't get an EOC or ANOC, contact your plan. Get your plan's contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name.

Do you need to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan? Do you already have creditable prescription drug coverage? Will you pay a penalty if you join a drug plan later? What's the plan’s overall star rating? What will your prescription drugs cost under each plan? Are your drugs covered under the plan's formulary? Are there any coverage rules that apply to your prescriptions? Are you eligible for a free Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program?

Most Medicare Advantage Plans include drug coverage. If yours doesn't, you may be able to join a separate Part D plan.

Note

If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) your plan sends you each year, usually in the fall. The EOC gives you details about what the plan covers, how much you pay, and more. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area effective in January. If you don't get an EOC or ANOC, contact your plan. Get your plan's contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name.

Do your doctors accept the coverage? Are the doctors you want to see accepting new patients? Do you have to choose your hospital and health care providers from a network ? Do you need to get referrals?

You can go to any doctor that accepts Medicare.

You may need to use health care providers who participate in the plan’s network. If so, find out how close the network’s doctor or pharmacies are to your home. Some plans offer out-of-network coverage.

Note

If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) your plan sends you each year, usually in the fall. The EOC gives you details about what the plan covers, how much you pay, and more. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area effective in January. If you don't get an EOC or ANOC, contact your plan. Get your plan's contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name.

Are you satisfied with your medical care? The quality of care and services offered by plans and other health care providers can vary. How have Medicare and other people with Medicare rated your health and drug plan’s care and services? Get help comparing plans and providers.

Will the plan cover you if you travel to another state or outside the U.S.?

Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover care outside the U.S. You may be able to buy supplemental insurance that offers travel coverage.

Plans usually don’t cover care you get outside of the U.S.

Note

If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) your plan sends you each year, usually in the fall. The EOC gives you details about what the plan covers, how much you pay, and more. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area effective in January. If you don't get an EOC or ANOC, contact your plan. Get your plan's contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name.