| Thu, Jan 26, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

How to Save Money with Your Medicare Advantage Plan

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Many Medicare Advantage plans offer valuable discounts on things you may already use You can expect your Medicare Advantage plan to help provide coverage for your physical health. But did you know that most also include ways to help protect your financial health? Here are some basic ways to save money with your plan.

Look for extra plan discounts on everyday health care items and services.

Many Medicare Advantage plans offer valuable discounts on things you may already use or need, such as:

  • Eyeglasses
  • Dental services
  • Hearing aids
  • Gym memberships

You can find information about discounts and other offers in your plan materials. It’s a good idea to read through them and take note of any offers that you might want to take advantage of.

If you don’t have or can’t find the materials, call your plan’s customer service line and ask that they be sent to you. Many plans also have member web sites where you may be able to access the materials online. With a little effort, you could enjoy big savings.

Use network doctors and pharmacies.

If your Medicare Advantage plan has doctor and pharmacy networks, then you can save money by using them. Network doctors and pharmacies have worked out special pricing with your plan so you can enjoy lower costs.

You can see an out-of-network doctor if you choose to, but you will likely pay more for the same services. Many Medicare Advantage plans require you to use the plan network or the service will not be covered at all. The same is true when filling prescriptions. Network pharmacies offer plan members extra savings and deep discounts that can add up to more money in your pocket.

It’s a good idea to get to know your pharmacist, too. He or she can help you determine if there are generic options for any brand name prescriptions you may have. Switching to generic drugs when possible can mean big savings. The majority of Medicare Advantage plans that include a prescription drug benefit cover most generic drugs for very low or no cost to you.

Use your mail-order pharmacy benefit.

Cost, as well as convenience, can make a mail-order pharmacy service well worthwhile. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer this service, and the copays can be very low. You can often rack up significant savings by ordering a 3-month supply of your prescriptions at one time. And your medications are delivered right to your door!

Take advantage of extras.

Your Medicare Advantage plan isn’t just for when you’re sick. It can help you stay healthy, too. Look into the extra programs and services your plan offers, which may include:

  • Preventive exams and screenings
  • Wellness programs
  • Nutrition coaching
  • Disease management programs
  • 24/7 nurse line

Some services may even be personalized to meet your specific health needs. And the healthier you are, the more you save.

All in all, there are many ways for you to save with your Medicare Advantage plan. So spend a few minutes reviewing the benefits, discounts and services that come with your plan, and invest now in your health.

For more information contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. You can also contact UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Made Clear to learn more 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week.

Resources

Save with Your Medicare Plan: Medicare Made Clear video with tips for saving money

How Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans Use Pharmacies, Formularies…: Medicare publication with information about prescription drug benefits

Medicare.gov: Medicare’s official web site

Y0066_111227_112947 File & Use 01042012