8 Questions to Ask About Medicare and the Marketplace

Open enrollment for health benefits is approaching. Be prepared as you decide which coverage options are right for you. Here are eight questions you should ask as you compare Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  1. What plans are available?

    As a creature of habit, you may be attached to your health insurance. However, there are at least 19 Medicare plans and dozens of Marketplace options. You could save money and get better health insurance if you shop around. Ask your insurance agent to share all your options as you make an informed decision.

  2. Are my health needs covered?

    The average Medicare beneficiary has two chronic conditions. Be sure whichever insurance you choose will cover your specific health needs, whether you need treatment and medication for a chronic condition or visit the doctor infrequently.

  3. Is my doctor covered?

    Over time, you establish a relationship with your doctor. He or she understands your medical needs and history, and you don't want to break up this valuable relationship. That's why you must be sure your doctor, including any specialist you see, is covered by a new insurance plan.

  4. How much will I owe?

    Any change in insurance coverage usually means a premium change. Find out exactly how much you will owe as you compare policies. In addition to the monthly premiums, find out about any deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance costs. You may also owe extra for specialists, therapy or medications.

  5. How will my healthcare needs change?

    You can't predict your future health, but you can review your family health history. If you think you may face certain health challenges, be sure your insurance plan will cover those needs.

  6. Are additional coverage available?

    You need basic health insurance, but perhaps dental, vision and hearing insurance is also important. Check plan benefits to ensure these additional insurance products are covered.

  7. Are there options for my spouse and dependents?

    Your family's medical needs might be covered by your health plan. Research different plans to see if they provide benefits for your spouse and dependents.

  8. What if I don’t choose?

    Shopping for life insurance can be daunting, and you may simply decide not to change your coverage from last year. That's fine, but be sure to read all the information your insurance plan sends you. It will include important information about your coverage, including any plan, coverage or premium changes.
Finding the right health insurance is important, especially during open enrollment. Discuss your needs with your insurance agent or a health benefits coordinator, and ask these eight questions as you choose between Medicare and the Marketplace.
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