Open Enrollment for Medicare begins next month, October 15. This is the opportunity to shop for and change Medicare Advantage plans, as well as Medigap and Medicare Part D plans. If you’re in the market for a new plan, here are some tips to help you find the most cost-effective one.
- When shopping for coverage, go beyond the monthly premium.
- Investigate the healthcare services you will/may need and the costs. The plan’s Evidence of Coverage will have the details. (Find this document on the plan’s website.)
- Pay attention to the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum. This is the most you could pay if you have an accident or face a serious medical issue. In 2023, Medicare has set the maximum limits at $8,300 for in-network services and $12,450 for in- and out-of-network combined. The average limits for those with Medicare Advantage are $4,835 and $8,659.
- And remember this. A zero-premium Medicare Advantage plan is free only if you never need any medical care.
Just because a Medicare Advantage plan might have no monthly premium, no health plan deductible, and no copayment for the primary physician, doesn't mean it's free. There are often out-of-pocket costs for many services that can really add up.