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Before you apply for Medicare, it’s critical for you to be aware of how Medicare coverage fits in with your health and drug needs, now and in the future. There are several types of Medicare plan options, and many factors you may need to consider when choosing or changing your Medicare coverage.
Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, doesn’t cover vision services, routine dental care, or out-of-the-country medical expenses.
Either of the following types of Medicare plan options might cover costs not covered by Original Medicare (coverage varies by the plan). Your costs would also vary depending on the plan you chose.
There’s also another Medicare plan option. A Medicare Advantage plan provides the same coverage as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) except hospice care, and often includes additional coverage such as prescription drugs, vision services, or dental services. The Medicare Advantage plan would administer your Medicare benefits, but you would have to continue paying your Medicare Part B premium.
When choosing what type of coverage to get, you might want to consider:
How much will health-care costs affect your budget? Before you decide on a Medicare plan, you will need to know how much you’ll pay for it. Some of the costs can include:
Will the doctors and hospitals you currently prefer be included in your specific Medicare Advantage plan network or accept Medicare assignment at all? There are some health-care providers who don’t accept new patients who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Ask if referrals are necessary, and whether you’re obligated to choose medical care within your network before you choose a Medicare Advantage plan. You may want to ask yourself the following questions regarding your Medicare plan:
When it comes to prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D), you have a couple options. You can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan if you have Original Medicare. Or you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug benefits, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. When looking at your Medicare plan options, consider the following prescription drug questions:
What is the Medicare plan’s star rating? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses several sources of information, including but not limited to member satisfaction surveys and information provided by health care providers to determine overall performance ratings for Medicare plans, including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage plans.
A Medicare plan can receive a rating between one and five stars. A five-star rating is considered excellent and represents a high-quality plan. Be sure to review the ratings for each Medicare plan that interests you before you apply for Medicare.
You can find these ratings when you access eHealth’s plan comparison tool; just enter your zip code in the box on this page. Or, you can visit the Medicare.gov website. You can also call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users call 1-877-486-2048. Medicare representatives are available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
Would you like to take a look at some of the Medicare plans available in your area? Just enter your zip code in the box on this page to display a list and start comparing plans.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.