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Finding the Right Medicare Plan

Posted by Lucy Lazarony Jul 08 2015

Choosing a Medicare plan that is right for a stroke survivor can go a long way in lowering medical costs during a stroke survivor’s recovery.

Here are four tips for choosing a Medicare plan.

Assess Your Medical Needs

“Choosing a plan should always start with your needs and not necessarily what the plan has to offer,” says Aaron Tidball, manager of Medicare operations at Allsup.

So before studying the details of Medicare plans, take some time to really assess a stroke survivor’s medical needs.

How often are doctor and rehab visits? What about prescriptions? Is a stroke survivor working with specialists as well? What types of Medicare coverage does a specialist or doctor accept?

Take a close look at the cost of the services that a stroke survivor is likely to use before evaluating a Medicare plan.

Be Savvy About Plan Pricing

Look beyond the premium price on each Medicare plan that you consider for a stroke survivor.

“We advise people not to choose a plan based on premium alone. There are other costs associated with health care including co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles,” Tidball says.

Take special care when evaluating the prices of lower and higher cost plans. A zero premium plan may not be the most affordable, and a higher premium plan may not guarantee the best coverage for a stroke survivor.

“People are very attracted to zero premium plans, but those plans will have other costs, co-pays, deductibles and other insurance,” Tidball explains.

As for getting the best coverage with a more expensive plan, that’s not necessarily the case.

“One tip we always give people is more money doesn’t necessarily mean better coverage,” Tidball advises. “That’s why it’s important to start with your needs and not what the plan offers.”

Look Beyond Brand Names

Don’t rule out plans from regional health care providers.

“People are very drawn to brand names. (But) the brand name doesn’t necessarily mean the plan is better,” Tidball says. “Often times, small regional plans have really great benefits, but they may not have the money for advertising.”

Reach Out to an Advisor

If you feel confused or overwhelmed by the choices of plans, don’t be afraid to reach out to a plan selection service such as Medicare Advisor at Allsup.

“Help is always available. They don’t have to struggle with these issues on their own,” Tidball says.

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