Your Texas Medicare Choices
Choosing a Medicare plan can often be overwhelming because of the many choices available. It’s helpful to first break out your choices into 3 main types.
Original Medicare alone, with or without a Part D drug plan, is one choice. However, this leaves you to pay the Medicare deductibles & coinsurances repeatedly. Fortunately, there are great ways to insure yourself.
Traditional Medicare Supplements in Texas
Medicare Supplements are another option. A traditional Medicare supplement will offer you the following:
- Freedom to choose to treat with any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare
- With a fuller coverage supplement, such as Plan F, you will have little or no copays for Medicare-covered services, such as doctor visits, labwork, diagnostic scans, hospital stays, some preventive services and many other things
- The option to choose the right standalone Part D drug plan that offers you the best formulary and copays for your individual needs
- Benefits are standardized and do not change from year to year
Medicare Advantage Plans in Texas (Part C)
Medicare Advantage plans are a third option. With Medicare Advantage plans:
- You may pay a lower premium as long as you agree to use the plan’s network of doctors
- Pay copays or coinsurance for services as you go along
- Some plans include a built-in Part D drug plan
- However, the plan’s benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or copayments and coinsurance may change on January 1st of each year.
How to Decide Which Medicare Insurance is Right for You
With so many Medicare supplemantal insurance options, how do you choose?
First, you should speak with your preferred doctors and hospitals to find out if they accept original Medicare. If so, they will accept any traditional medicare supplement.
You should then ask whether they participate in any Medicare Advantage plans, and if so, which ones do they accept? Some doctors and hospitals do not participate in any Medicare Advantage plans, so this is very important to find out.
Second, we often tell our clients to think about which type of Medicare coverage will provide you the best peace of mind. Are you a person who will sleep better at night if you pay somewhat more up front, but can go to any Medicare provider you like and expect little or no copays? If so, a Medicare supplement may be right for you.
Or would you feel more peace of mind in paying a lower premium out of your pocket now, and accepting the ongoing responsibility to pay copays and coinsurance for health events as they come along? If so, a Medicare Advantage plan could be the right plan for you.
Know the Medicare Election Periods
Be aware that with Medicare Advantage plans, the plans file changes with Medicare each year. Each September, you will receive an annual notice of change packet that outlines the changes in your Medicare Advantage plan’s premium and copays for the following year. Take the time to review this packet, so that there are no surprises in January.
Medicare allows you to change your Medicare Advantage and/or Part D coverage during the annual election period, and at certain other restricted times of the year under special circumstances.
Some health underwriting may apply in order to change your coverage type later on, so think through your initial choice carefully.
Work with an Insurance Agent Specializing in Medicare
Finally, as an independent agency that specializes in these plans, we see people every year that have made plan choices that they don’t fully understand, and are later frustrated or angry. It’s important that you work with an agent who represents numerous carriers, and can help you compare plan options and fully understand your choices.
Enlisting the help of an agent costs you nothing, but will help to give you support in making your choice, and service over the life of your policy.
Reach your friendly no-hassle Texas Medicare insurance agent by phone today for help, or complete our online help request form: