| Wed, Oct 13, 2010 @ 09:00 AM

How to Get the Most Out of Your Medicare Benefits

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Medicare BenefitsThe Medicare benefits available to you are dependent on a number of things including: your individual Medicare plan, where you live and your health. The first step in ensuring that you are taking full advantage of your benefits is to understand what your Medicare benefits include.

Understanding Your Medicare Benefits

All Medicare plans are not created the same. Medicare coverage differs from one plan to another. Medicare Parts A and B are offered by the federal government. Part A gives you help with the cost of inpatient hospital stays and skilled nursing services following a hospital stay, while Part B provides help with the cost of doctor visits and other medical services. Both Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans and Part D (Prescription Drug) plans are offered by private insurers. Medicare Advantage plans provide a single plan that combines help with hospital costs, doctor’s visits and other medical services, plus prescription drug cover if you want it.

Part D plans provide help with your prescription drug coverage. In order to take full advantage of your plan(s), you’ll want to understand what your plan includes. There are many resources that can help. Start by downloading a free Medicare Made Clear show-me guide.

Reviewing Your Plan

You have an opportunity once a year to review your Medicare benefits, switch plans and/or add coverage to your existing plan. The 2010 Medicare Annual Election Period lasts from November 15 to December 31. It’s a good idea to review your coverage during this time and to look at what you have paid out of pocket in the last year for medical expenses. Then compare this to the premiums you paid for your Medicare insurance. This will help you decide if you have the best plan to fit your specific needs.  You may find out that you are not using all the benefits of your current plan or there may be gaps in the coverage that you need.

Selecting a Plan

During your Annual Election Period you may identify areas where you need additional coverage, just as you might discover you’re paying for a portion of coverage you do not need. For example, if you take several daily medications, you may want to consider prescription drug coverage. By selecting a plan that is tailored to your individual needs, you are taking the steps necessary to get the most out of your Medicare coverage.

Our online Medicare Plan Finder tool can offer customized coverage suggestions based on your unique circumstances.

Additional Resources

http://www.medicare.gov

https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10116.pdf

http://umassmed.typepad.com/files/understanding-medicare-enrollment-periods.pdf

The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.

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