By Jonathan Blum, Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare
Like most people, I take comfort in the things I’m familiar with. I choose to shop at the supermarket around the corner because I know exactly where to find the things I’m looking for. Sure, I might be able to save a little more money by shopping at a different store on the other side of town, but I choose to stick with what I’m most comfortable. We all like to get a good deal, but convenience is a big part of the value.
The same is true when it comes to choosing a health plan: convenience matters. So in addition to cost, coverage, and benefits, here are some other things you may want to consider as you compare Medicare options during Open Enrollment:
Doctor and hospital choice
You want to be comfortable with the people you’re working with, especially when it comes to something as private as your health. Will your doctors and hospitals accept your current coverage next year? If you’re thinking about changing plans, make sure you check which doctors and hospitals you’ll be able to use. Where are they located, and what are their hours?
Is the pharmacy you use included in your drug plan’s network? Do they prescribe electronically? Can you get refills by mail? Remember that plan networks can change from year to year. If it’s important to you to stay with the same pharmacy, it’s worth checking to make sure they’ll still be in your plan’s network.
Maybe you travel a lot, or spend part of the year in a different state. If you do, make sure you know whether your coverage will travel with you.
We’re working hard to make sure you have choices in the way you get the Medicare benefits you’ve earned – and we want you to be comfortable. Use the Medicare Plan Finder to look at all of the health and drug plan options in your area. If you still need help comparing, call 1‑800‑MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).