Case Study: Which Medicare Plan is Right for Me?
Carol has just become eligible for Medicare. She takes good care of her health; she swims at the community pool three times a week and walks her dog every day. Mary takes simvastatin for her high cholesterol, which she gets from her local pharmacy, but she doesn't take any other prescription drugs. Mary has five children she frequently travels to see. What Medicare plan works best for Mary?
Since Carol travels so much, she needs a plan that allows her to see any doctor, hospital or provider that accepts Medicare, so the option that fits her best is Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. Original Medicare includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) and having a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan will help fill the gaps that Original Medicare doesn't cover. Mary will also want to purchase a Medicare Part D plan which would cover the cost of prescription medications.
As Carol's Personal Money Coach because she was in relatively good health, I was able to save her $3,024 by explaining to her the differences between Medicare Plan F and Medicare Plan F+ (not all companies offer it). The F+ plan was a high-deductible plan that offers all the benefits of Plan F with an annual deductible of $2,180 for 2016. The monthly premiums for Plan F were $314 and the monthly premium for Plan F+ was $62. The savings were $252 a month. Over a 12 month period that was $3,024 savings. An Affordable Medicare Supplement solution!
James has just turned eighty and has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. He lives at home with his daughter, who provides for much of his care. He has a daily regimen of several vitamins and prescription drugs. He is also recovering from a broken hip so he spends much of his time in bed watching the Game Show Network. What Medicare plan might be best for James?
James should look at Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, since he doesn't need to worry about seeing out-of-network doctors and is happy with his primary care physician. A Medicare Advantage plan includes Medicare Part A, Part B and, depending on the plan he chooses, most plans include a prescription drug coverage. He will continue to pay his Part B premium in addition to his Medicare Advantage premium, if there is one. (In Queens, NY in 2016 the premium was zero). As his Personal Money Coach this proved to be a good choice to help him manage his expenses.