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How Do I Choose a Medicare Option?

With so many options available, you will want to consider the factors affecting your individual situation in order to determine what options will work best to keep your costs down and let you get the medical services you need. You may want the Original Medicare Plan alone, or add a Medigap or prescription drug policy.* Or you may choose to receive all of your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan. These are just some of the options that might be available to you. Having as much information as possible about the different kinds of plans available and the specific plans offered by the companies in your area will help you have peace of mind about your healthcare decisions.

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Some questions to ask yourself might include the following:

  • Do I have or am I at risk for any serious health problems? What kind of care are those conditions likely to require?
  • Is it important to me to be able to see certain doctors? What kinds of insurance do my doctors accept?
  • Do I travel? Should I have coverage in other parts of the United States or other parts of the world?
  • What are my prescription drug costs? Am I likely to fall into a coverage gap with normal Part D prescription drug policies? Would I benefit from a policy with gap coverage?
  • Am I eligible for other types of health coverage, such as TRICARE or Medicaid? Do you qualify for help with your Medicare costs? Do you have health benefits from an employer or union?
  • Do you have any type of condition or situation that might be best covered under a Special Needs Plan?
  • Do you visit your doctor often? Do you frequently receive services from various kinds of specialists?

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* You may be able to get extra help to pay for your prescription drug premiums and costs. To see if you qualify for getting extra help, call:

1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY/TDD users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/7 days a week;

The Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY/TDD users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or Your State Medicaid Office

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