If you have original Medicare and have purchased a supplement you may have noticed that each year your coverage tends to get more and more expensive. The problem is when you are living on a fixed income these increases can really hurt. So what are some ways to lower your health care costs in retirement?
Medicare Supplement or Medi-gap policies can and SHOULD be shopped at least every other year to see if you can save money on premiums. People are often afraid to change insurance companies because they get comfortable with their current plans and a know evil is better than an unknown. However in this case that kind of logic can really get you in trouble. You see All Medi-gap plans are regulated by the government and have identical benefits no matter who you buy them through. So if you have a plan G with one company like Blue Cross / Blue Shield, it offers identical benefits to a plan G with Aetna. So you really should not be afraid to switch. Also, Medicare can be a competitive marketplace and every now and then Carriers will lower rates in a particular zip code in order to gain more business from a certain area where they want to compete and rates will become attractive to people who are willing to switch. And you don’t have to give up your current plan until you get approved with the new one. You should know however that getting approved is NOT a given. If you have serious pre-existing health issues you may not qualify to switch and staying where you are at might just be the best bet for you.
Another way to save money particularly during the open enrollment period that runs from 10/15 through 12/7 each year is to shop your part D drug coverage. Part D plans tend to change up their formularies every year. What changing a formulary means to you is that what was treated as a tier one drug (less expensive) last year might turn up on their tier two or three (more expensive) list this year. These charges can really sneak up on you and the best way to stay ahead is to shop your drug coverage cost at least once per year during open enrollment.
If you need help shopping or evaluating your Medicare Supplement options we are here to help and do not charge for a consultation. We mainly provide this service for existing retirement planning clients only, but if you found your way to this article give us a call and we will see what we can do to help you. Give us a call today!