I have been talking to a lot of people lately about Medicare and understanding all of it's moving parts.
Just recently, we were contacted by a very savvy gentleman who was encountering all kinds of difficulties finding physicians that would accept his plan. He had signed up for a new plan (Medicare Advantage) last year and didn't realize this would be an issues until he started needing specialists (and even his PCP didn't want to accept the fees paid under this plan). He was realizing that in an effort to save a few bucks, he was now getting what he paid for. Each person's situation is different, but he really did not need the monthly savings he was getting-he easily could have continued on with his prior choices but of course, the cost savings always sounds good. But, now he was facing real access to care issues. This happens all too often. It is hard to understand all the ins and outs and most of us get a big headache reading through all that stuff, so we don't dig deep--or we trust someone selling us something to give us all the details.
We talk to more and more people that realize this and want some advice, especially when nearing retirement and looking in to all of this for the first time. As each person examines certain questions, different solutions will arise--what is their income and financial picture, what is offered through employer or retirement plan, what is their health situation (and perhaps family history), what are the medical resources in their community (and how accessible will these be with different options), how much security or risk do they want? And, of course, as a person's situation changes, they need to reexamine their choices during enrollment periods. What is right for me as a robust, healthy 65 year old may certainly change as I age and experience chronic health issues.
Some resources to check out, include:
Aging Wisely's blog has many articles covering Medicare issues and you can also get a copy of our yearly fact sheet with up-to-date Medicare numbers and costs.
Aging Wisely, LLC offers consulting services for these and other medical, insurance, and care issues and helps point you to resources which can help. We do not sell any products or insurance or receive any referral fees.