Beginning November 15, our patients eligible for Medicare coverage can review their plan and update it according to their needs. For many, this can be bewildering. However, if you're able to read this blog, you're already on your way to some helpful information.
I went straight to the Medicare website and found some helpful links. First of all, if you want a primer on using the page itself, the Help link on the upper right hand side of the page will get you started. On the right side of the page, you can find general topics such as "Original Medicare" and "Medigap Policies." This is great information especially to those new to Medicare. Be aware that if you choose to "Learn More," your browser will want to open a pop-up window so be sure you have your pop-up blocker off. Note that the pop-up window is divided into tabs, so you can look at a Glossary, learn how a plan works, or even learn more about how to choose a plan.
One very useful tool is found on the left side of the page. Find the section headed Learn More about Health Plans and Medigap Policies in Your Area. You can open the listbox within, choose your state and click View Plans. A chart displays showing you all the plans available in your state, and you can easily see how much the premiums are, and what is covered. You can also see how it's rated. There are links to plan websites, and phone numbers for further contact.
Take your time, ask questions, and talk to friends before choosing your plan. Consider cost, convenience (can you use your local pharmacy and physician?), quality and performance, and benefits. You have until December 31st.