5 Shopping Tips to Help You Get the Most from Medicare

When it’s time to choose a Medicare plan, it can be tempting to simply follow a friend or family member’s advice on which plan is right for you. If it works for them, it’ll work for you, right? Not always. Everyone has different needs, which means they’ll likely want different things from a Medicare plan. Some may feel completely confident in Original Medicare or Original Medicare with Part D coverage. Others may want the coverage and benefits a Medicare Advantage plan can offer.


If you’re not sure what makes the most sense for you, HAP can help. Here’s how to make the most of your Medicare shopping experience.


Number 1

Enroll early

Did you know you can sign up for Medicare three months before your birthday month? If you’re currently receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B when you turn 65. If you aren’t, you can sign up when you’re 64 years and 9 months old. It ensures you have coverage the day you’re eligible and that you don’t get a lifetime of late enrollment fees. You can also sign up during your birthday month and three months after.

Number 2

You can review your coverage every year

You can choose to switch your Medicare coverage during the annual enrollment period (October 15 – December 7). To make sure you’re still getting the greatest value, it’s always worth investigating your plan options. It’s important to understand the full cost of your plan including the premium, copays, your deductible and coinsurance. Some plans may have a $0 premium, but you’re still responsible for other costs associated with the plan.

Number 3

Choose a plan with an extensive network

With Original Medicare, you can see any doctor who accepts Medicare. But with a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll want to see which doctors and hospitals would be in your network. Look for your primary care physician, any specialists you already see and your preferential hospitals. HAP, for example, is accepted by thousands of doctors and most Michigan hospitals.

Number 4

Check out what’s NOT covered

Original Medicare doesn’t cover dental, vision or hearing. However, you can find Medicare Advantage plans that do like our plans at HAP. As you’re evaluating the options, consider what kind of care you might need in the upcoming year. And don’t forget to also explore the benefits built into each plan. HAP has additional benefits like $0 telehealth services, $0 gym memberships and up to $400/year for over-the-counter items and medications.

Number 5

Don’t miss the enrollment deadline

Sometimes, people still have health insurance through their employer (or their spouse’s employer) at age 65. If you’re in the same situation, you can delay your Medicare enrollment. The only catch is: you need to sign up within eight months of losing that coverage. If you don’t, you’ll face a hefty fee, and you might even have to wait until the next enrollment period.


Want to learn more about our Medicare Advantage plans? To talk to an expert by calling (833) 923-1617 (TTY: 711). Our team is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Or, if you’d rather do your own research, you can request a FREE Medicare planning guide.


Copyright © 2018 HAP
2018 Health Alliance Plan of Michigan
Y0076_ALL 2019 Medicare Shop Tips
CMS Accepted 12/05/2018
HAP Senior Plus (HMO)/(HMO-POS)/(PPO) and HAP Primary Choice Medicare (HMO) are health plans with Medicare contracts. HAP Empowered Duals (HMO SNP) is a Medicare health plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Michigan Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plans depends on contract renewals. HAP Senior Plus (PPO) is a product of Alliance Health and Life Insurance company, a wholly owned subsidiary of HAP.
This information is not a complete description of benefits. For more information call Medicare Michigan customer service at (800) 868-9885 (TTY: 711) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week (Oct. 1 – March 31) / 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday (April 1 - Sept. 30).

Categories: Get To Know Your Plan

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