Learn the basics about Medicare
The first step toward choosing the right plan is knowing a bit about Medicare, and we’re here to help. We have lots of useful information on our website, and we’re available to talk over email or on the phone.
You’ll want to make sure you’re signed up for Medicare Part A (which covers inpatient hospital and skilled nursing care) and Medicare Part B (which covers doctor visits and outpatient care) before you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan.
Consider the situation
How often have you been going to the doctor? When you go, who do you see?
Someone who only goes to routine checkups might choose a different plan than someone with chronic or complex health needs. Someone who feels strongly about seeing a certain specialist might choose a different plan than someone who doesn’t.
How do you like to budget for your expenses?
We often tell people that choosing the right plan is a balancing act. Imagine a teeter totter. When one side goes down, the other goes up. When premiums go down, the amount you pay out of pocket when you get care or fill a prescription goes up. When premiums go up, these costs go down. The services provided are always the same, but how you pay for them changes.
Some people prefer to pay a higher premium every month and pay less when they need care. Other people prefer to save money on premiums and pay more when they need care.
Which medicine do you take?
The types of medicine you take can be a factor in which plan you choose. If you have special prescription needs, you’ll probably want to consider them, too.
Know the options
It’s never too early to start thinking about your health. Learn your options so you’ll have peace of mind when the time comes to make a decision.
There are many factors that affect your options, from where you live to whether you have End-Stage Rental Disease (ESRD). You must choose plans that are offered in your county and people with ESRD are not typically eligible for Medicare Advantage plans. (But, you can continue on the plan if you’re a member prior to being diagnosed with ESRD.)
Of course, choosing the right plan is an important decision, but it’s not a permanent one. The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) happens every year from October 15 to December 7. And you can change plans if your health needs change.
Get answers about Medicare
There are many different ways to get answers to your questions.
Attend an informational meeting
At our informational meetings, we’ll cover Medicare basics and the plans offered by HealthPartners UnityPoint Health.
Read a Medicare blog post
Our Medicare blog is stocked with good information about your coverage options. We’ve got blog posts with key insights and answers to your most common questions.
You can also enroll online through our easy-to-use tool. You can compare plans side-by-side and get recommendations based on your needs.
Last updated October 2019