Can I Save Money by Switching Medicare Plans?
Medicare Benefits Solutions
Jul 10, 2020
Saving money is one of the keys to building and maintaining wealth, and successful savers are always looking for ways to cut costs. This can be especially true as we get older, but the good news is that you might be able to save when it comes to healthcare costs by switching your Medicare plan.
Medicare costs for most individuals are nominal, but over time, these costs can eat into your monthly income. While you might not be paying for Medicare Part A, the hospital benefit, you’ll likely be paying a premium for Medicare Part B, the outpatient benefit. Also, if you’ve opted for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, you’ll usually be looking at even more out-of-pocket spending.
Switching Medicare plans
Whether or not you can save money by switching Medicare plans depends on a few things. First, you need to consider your current healthcare needs and reference them against your plan’s benefits. If you’re paying for things that you aren’t using, you’ll obviously want to consider dropping the extra coverage options.
The tricky thing about this, however, is that new medical concerns can arise at any time. While you might be healthy now and have no need for prescription drug coverage, you might end up sick tomorrow with a chronic condition that requires regular prescription medications for the rest of your life. If you were to drop your coverage in order to save money now, you might end up paying a lot more in the future if the need arises.
This same concern comes up when considering Medicare benefits under Part B. Maybe you only see your doctor once a year right now for a checkup, but if you develop a condition in the future that requires regular visits, your costs can add up quickly.
Also, you might be able to save on Medicare costs by switching plans to include coverage you now need. You can make changes during the Annual Enrollment Period if your medical situation changes. This may save you money because you’d end up paying more for your new healthcare needs without Medicare benefits.
For these reasons, you need to talk to your doctor to discuss your unique healthcare situation. This includes discussing your current health needs and your medical history to evaluate the potential for needing more medical care in the future. You can also discuss things like your occupation or lifestyle choices with your doctor to see if these areas of your life could possibly affect your future healthcare needs.
Changing to a Medicare Advantage plan
Another consideration when trying to save money by switching to a different Medicare plan is whether or not a Medicare Advantage plan could benefit you more than Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans, often referred to as Medicare Part C, provide the same basic Part A and Part B benefits of Original Medicare, but they may come with additional benefits and financial incentives, including discounts on certain medical products, membership benefits for joining a gym or wellness class and low or no premiums.
The nice thing about Medicare Advantage plans is that they are issued by private insurers. Because of this, you can shop around and look for plans that have different offerings. Once again, this is an important conversation. Give your own unique healthcare needs some thought and review your current healthcare needs. Talk to your doctor and review your medical expenses. No amount of financial cost-saving is worth your health. Compare the options available in your area and find a plan that meets your needs.
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