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February 6, 2021

Comparing Medicare health and prescription drug plans can be complicated. Keep in mind these 4 things to make your plan choice easier.

  1. Total cost for care. It’s important to think about your total out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, maximums, and drug costs, that you’ll pay with a Medicare health or drug plan.
  2. Provider choice. Some plan types have a network of providers you’ll have to use if you want to pay less. If you have a particular doctor or pharmacy that you prefer to go to, see if that plan has a network. If it does, check that your provider is in the plan’s network. You might also want to make sure that your plan’s network has providers to choose from that are convenient to you.
  3. Benefits. Many Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug, vision, hearing, and dental coverage. Maybe you travel a lot, or spend part of the year in a different state. If you do, see if your plan will cover you when you travel.
  4. Overall Star Rating.  Medicare plans use a star rating system for both Medicare health and drug plans. The “Overall Star Rating” gives an overall rating of the plan’s quality and performance for the types of services each plan offers. A plan can get a rating between 1 and 5 stars. A 5-star rating is considered excellent. If a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare drug plan or Medicare Cost Plan with a 5-star rating is available in your area, you can use the 5-star Special Enrollment Period (once a year) to switch from your current Medicare plan to a Medicare plan with the 5-star rating.


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