Last week, we highlighted some tools to use during Medicare open enrollment, but how do you know if you’re choosing the right plan?
Here’s a helpful checklist to use as you sign up for coverage:
- Find all of the options for your area. Medicare plan options vary by location, so it is important to determine which options you have where you live and whether the pharmacy that’s convenient for you is in-network or preferred for your plan. The Medicare Plan Finder is a great tool to get you started with this part of your search and includes the latest star rating of how plans are performing.
- Check to see which plans cover your medicines. Once you’ve found all of the plan options in your area, it is time to narrow the list to plans that cover your needed medicines. Work with your doctor to make a list of all the medicines you’ll need coverage for, and use the Medicare Plan Finder to find plans that cover those medicines.
- Compare the costs of each plan. While there may be a number of plans in your area that cover your needed medications, these plans can vary by cost. Make sure you narrow your list to options that work for you financially by looking at both monthly premiums and the out-of-pocket costs for the medicines you need.
- Consider all the features of each plan. Some plans may offer mail-order pharmacy refills while other plans might allow you to refill your medicines at your local pharmacy. As a last step in choosing your plan, you’ll want to choose the option that has the features that work best for you.
By following this checklist, you can narrow down your plan options to the ones that best fit your needs. Our tips for open enrollment continue next week, so be sure to sign up for updates here. And don’t forget! You have until December 7, 2016, to sign up and review your Medicare coverage.
Nicole Longo Nicole is senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, 340B, importation and more. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.