Why You and Your Spouse Might Need Different Medicare PlansPosted by Medicare Made Clear
It’s not unusual for spouses to be covered under the same health plan for much of their married life—often an employer plan. This can be a wise and economical choice for many couples and families.
All that changes once you’re on Medicare. Medicare is not a family health plan.
Old habits die hard though, and someone could be missing out if you and your spouse is simply signing up for the same Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan.
Each eligible individual needs to decide what type of Medicare coverage and which specific plan may fit with his or her needs. You and your spouse each need to consider:
- Which doctors you see
- What medications you take
- How often you go to the doctor
- Whether you want a fitness benefit such as a gym membership
- Whether you want additional benefits such as dental, vision or hearing care
- What other medical or prescription drug coverage you may have, such as retiree coverage
You may have many plans to choose from, whether you’re looking for a standalone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with or without prescription drug coverage. Each has its own coverage and cost terms.
Medicare’s Plan Finder can help you find plans in your area. You and your spouse may each choose plans you’re interested in. Then each of you may want to use the Medicare Plan Finder Worksheet (pdf) to compare plans side by side. It might be interesting to share which plan you each choose and why.
You can change your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan during Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7) if you choose to do so. You have this opportunity every year at the same time. It’s a good idea to review your current coverage and your plan choices annually, since your needs and your plan choices may change.
The important thing is for each individual to find a plan that fits with his or her needs. Even if you and your spouse independently choose the same plan, you’ll know you did it for the right reasons.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.