Back to Basics: Do Your Medicare Homework

Back to Basics: Do Your Medicare Homework

As we age and health complications become more common, it’s important to understand options when it comes to your health insurance. That’s why it’s a smart idea to do your homework before deciding on the right Medicare plan for you. Taking the time now to be proactive with your health can provide all of the answers you need to ensure you have coverage and peace of mind for years to come.

If you currently have Original Medicare but are looking for more benefits and the security that comes from knowing there’s a limit on how much you’ll pay for care, then Medicare Advantage plans may be a good fit for you. These plans offer more comprehensive coverage and cap out-of-pocket costs. Far from being one-size-fits-all, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network offer a wide variety of Medicare Advantage plans so you can choose the one that best suits your personal needs. All have the same benefits as Original Medicare, and all but one plan includes prescription drug coverage, which you would have to purchase separately if you opted for Original Medicare. Many of the plans have additional benefits such as fitness memberships, and enhanced dental, vision and hearing benefits, beyond what Original Medicare covers.

Selecting a Medicare Advantage plan offered by Blue Cross isn’t all that different from when you shopped for health insurance before turning 65; you predict your health care needs and select a plan with the level of coverage, and balance of premium, cost-sharing, maximum out-of-pocket cost and network that you like. A general rule of thumb is the more you pay for your monthly premiums, the less you’ll pay when you need care once you’ve met a deductible. Since everyone’s needs are unique, Blue Cross offers a variety of plans to find your perfect fit:

  • Light Plans: If you are generally in good health, don’t take many prescription medications and want to pursue an active lifestyle, then Light coverage may be a great fit for you. You’ll pay lower monthly premiums, but will have higher out-of-pockets costs should a more serious medical situation arise.
  • Balanced Plans: If you visit your doctor a few times a year and take prescription medications on a regular basis, a Balanced plan may be a good fit for you. Balanced plans are comprehensive and have a cap for out-of-pocket expenses, which brings peace of mind and security for the unexpected health challenges you might face.
  • Extended Plans: If you visit the doctor frequently, are on multiple prescription medications and use your health care plan often, an Extended plan may be the right fit for you. You’ll get the protection you need while paying higher monthly premiums, but will have lower copays when visiting the doctor.

No matter what level of medical attention you need, you can find the right plan for you in the expansive family of Medicare plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. To learn more, check out this website, talk to your agent or talk to an agent who’s a Medicare specialist at 1-888-563-3307.

If you’d like to learn more about Medicare, these blogs are a great resource:

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. [Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/co-insurance] may change on January 1 of each year. Medicare Plus BlueSM, BCN AdvantageSM and Prescription BlueSM are PPO, HMO, HMO-POS and PDP plans with Medicare contracts. Enrollment in Medicare Plus Blue, BCN Advantage and Prescription Blue depends on contract renewal.

Y0074_W_16BackToBasicsBlog CMS Accepted 11292015

Photo credit: Tibor Hegewisch

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