It's good to talk to a Medicare agent before you sign up for Medicare for the first time and every year before open enrollment. This ensures you have the right coverage for your medical conditions and budget. Medicare plans can be confusing to understand, and if you need frequent medical care, you want the best coverage available to you and the right supplements to cover prescription medications if you take them. Here are ways a Medicare agent can help.
Explain The Options Available
Medicare plans often change each year, so your current plan may change or even close. New plans are added, and not all plans are available in all locations. This is why you need an agent familiar with the options in your location. No matter what insurance plans the agent represents, the agent should tell you about all the options you have to choose from so you can make an informed choice.
Help You Understand The Coverage
Plans differ in the type of coverage they provide and how much they pay. You might want a plan that covers your doctor copay visits so you have very low costs if your only care is routine exams a couple of times a year. If you're on several expensive prescription drugs, you'll want a plan that will cover as much of the cost as possible. The better coverage you get, the higher the cost, so you need to balance the cost against your expected needs. You might prefer paying a copay each time just to keep your monthly costs lower.
Inform You About Deadlines
You can make changes to your Medicare coverage at the end of each year in a set window of time. If you miss the deadline, you'll continue with your current plan if it's still available, so you don't necessarily have to sign up again each year. Still, it's good to weigh your options each year and know the deadlines so you won't miss the chance to change your coverage.
Finding a Medicare agent is usually easy to do when the open enrollment period draws near. You may find agents stationed in malls, at senior health fairs, or in local insurance agencies. You can talk to an agent in their office, a public place, or the agent can come to your home. Since you'll rely on Medicare for your healthcare needs in the coming year, it's worth talking to an agent to make sure you can get the care you need without putting a strain on your budget if at all possible. The agent can register you for the plan you want and if it turns out you don't like the coverage, you can drop it during the disenrollment period at the start of each year. If you do this, you'll still have Medicare, but you won't have an advantage plan and you won't be able to sign up for a different one until the new enrollment period at the end of the year.