10/5/2018 By Agent Ken CobbBy Agent Ken Cobb
If you are one of the many seniors in Minnesota losing your current Medicare Cost plan with Blue Cross, Health Partners or Medica, you have a tough decision to make about what kind of plan to buy for next year. In choosing among a number of available plans, here are six quick questions worth asking yourself:
1. What plan(s) will best cover my prescriptions? By entering your drugs in Medicare.gov, you can compare how different plans will cover them. There can be a large difference in out of pocket drug costs depending on what drug plan you choose. (I would be happy to help you with this comparison if you ask.)
2. Would I prefer a higher premium with less out of pocket medical cost, or would I like to save some money on premium and pay a little more for my healthcare? This might depend both on your current health and also your comfort level. While there are exceptions, many Advantage plans have lower premiums but more cost sharing than popular Medigap policies.
3. Would I prefer to pay more now to lock in benefits that won’t change from year to year, or am I content with re-evaluating my coverage on an annual basis? If you are losing your current Cost plan, you have guaranteed eligibility for a Medigap policy now, and it could be harder to qualify for in the future. With a Medigap plan, your benefits won’t change from year to year, but an Advantage plan is subject to change or could even discontinue at the end of every year. On the other hand, an Advantage plan may have lower premiums.
4. Am I okay with being limited to a provider network, or would I prefer insurance that allows me to choose any doctor who accepts Medicare? Most Advantage plans have a network, while many Medigap policies are open.
5. What additional benefits would I like from my plan? Depending on the plan or policy you choose, your benefits could include dental, hearing aids, vision care, a fitness membership, worldwide emergency care and more. Also, how much you have to pay for various special needs such as diabetes testing supplies, durable medical equipment, mental health or substance abuse could also vary as well.
6. Would I like some assistance in making this important decision? If your answer is yes, I’m here to help. If you live in the Bemidji area and would like to schedule an appointment, just contact me.
Ken is licensed in Minnesota only and cannot assist residents of other states.
About the Author
Agent Ken Cobb
Ken is the owner and principal agent at Pine Country Insurance in Bemidji. Active in the insurance industry since 2000,Ken uses his years of personal insurance knowledge and experience to assist clients in customizing insurance coverage to fit their needs. Ken considers himself a "farmer" rather than a "hunter"; rather than focusing on writing a lot of new policies as quickly as possible, he works on cultivating long term relationships based on trust with his clients. When writing new policies and meeting for annual reviews, Ken spends time with his clients explaining and helping them understand their insurance, and he is also pleased to share his knowledge with his blogging audience as well.
Ken Cobb is owner of Pine Country Insurance and has been active in the insurance industry for over 15 years. Meet Ken.
Coverage descriptions found in this blog are summaries provided for general educational purposes and cannot fully detail the terms, conditions, limitations or exclusions of a specific insurance policy. Please read your policy carefully.