When I see people who are looking for guidance on Medicare, I often hear, “I didn’t know all that had to be done just to retire!” Of course, everyone has a different experience based on their own unique needs, and that is why it pays off to learn ahead of time what it entails and to not procrastinate until the last minute to dive in. Here's some tips on what questions to ask, where to start, and who can help.
What questions you should ask about Medicare
If you are considering retirement you will want to know what your options are for your health insurance. Can you keep your current coverage, and if you do, how does that work with Medicare? Or doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, what are the consequences? Yes, there are consequences!
If you choose to enroll in a Medicare plan, what are the options? How do they work? What if I choose not to enroll in a Medicare plan? What are the consequences? Yes, again, there are consequences!
Where to start exploring Medicare options
Sound complicated? You are right! So, what do you do? You must educate yourself and find a trusted advisor. It also helps if you have a trusted family member or friend that can assist you and be a second set of ears. You don’t have to know it all, but you will want to find a trusted resource that you can reach out to.
What would I advise for first steps to exploring Medicare?
- Attend a Medicare 101 Seminar to understand the basics of Medicare, a federally run program. Simco Capital offers these seminars at no charge. Call us to register at 585-750-3246, Option 2. Our Medicare Specialists are licensed insurance agents ready to guide you through the process.
- Set up an appointment with a Medicare Specialist to review your unique situation and learn about your options.
- Compare the available Medicare plans in your area, and decide what works best for you.
Who can you call about Medicare?
Simco Capital is here to be a resource for you not just at the time of your enrollment, but throughout the year. We specialize in helping you understand your coverage, assist with problem solving and re-evaluate your needs annually.
- Our Medicare Specialists are versatile to meet with you when and how it’s convenient for you.
- We can accommodate both in-person or online digital meetings and trainings.
- We have a live person answering our phones.
- We work with all the carriers--so you can see everything available to you.
How to Prepare for your Medicare Appointment
When you are looking for a Medicare plan it pays to be prepared. If you are prepared, you will make the most of your time, have a more accurate estimate of what your costs will be, and ensure that the plan you select will work for you.
You will want to bring all your current health insurance information. Bring your Original Medicare Card (red, white, and blue paper card), your EPIC card if you are a member, and any other current health insurance cards.
Make a list of the providers that you see, either regularly or on an as needed basis. A provider would include primary care physicians, specialists, pharmacies, labs, hospitals, surgical centers, just to name a few.
List of your medications
You can create one yourself, use a summary from a recent doctor’s visit or call your pharmacy to get a printout. It is important to be specific about the medications you take! There can be a significant difference in the cost of medications depending on the dose or even whether it is a tablet or a capsule! Be sure to include percentages and grams for medications that are drops, lotions/creams, inhalers, etc.
Review your current healthcare needs, to get an idea of what services you typically use the most. How many providers do you see, and how many times a year do you see them? Do you have any upcoming services you need this year that you did not in the previous year? Do you have a surgery scheduled?
Plan Ahead for Service
You also want to think about how a plan works if you were to have an unexpected medical event. What is my cost for ambulance services? Is my local hospital in-network with the plan? What if I am transferred to another hospital, for a higher level of care, are they in the plan network? What is the plans out-of-pocket maximum?
Finally, think about any ancillary benefits such as gym memberships and healthy rewards/wellness programs. Do you want vision or dental coverage?
There can be a lot to think about when considering your Medicare plan options. Simco’s Medicare Specialists are licensed agents who can help you narrow down the options simplifying the process. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, and a little help from a Simco Specialist.