It’s that time of year again; you have only a few more days to make the changes necessary on your Medicare plan before the December 7th deadline passes. Now is the time to get down to business and understand what, if any, changes you need to make so that you are able to best take advantage of the plans open to you at the moment. Your health is the most important aspect of your life, so now is not the time to get lazy and not do the research necessary. While we do understand that you have to be able to afford your medical care, we also know that your personal health requires the best care possible. Since everyone is different, we cannot tell you which plan is the best for you, the most beneficial for you or even which one you should choose. However, we do feel that we can tell you that it’s time to figure out how you can make the most of your Medicare plan before it’s just too late.
Put your Priorities in Order
We all have priorities in life, but yours might be different from mine (and there’s also the fact that I’m not yet at Medicare age). However, you have to get your priorities in order right now; this is when it becomes more important than ever before. What, as far as your health is concerned, is the most important thing to you? Do you feel it’s most important to keep your monthly out-of-pocket expenses low? Do you feel that you should keep your out-of-pocket expenses at each appointment or visit to the doctor low more so than anything else? Do you need particular care or want to see a particular doctor? What’s important to you and your health care?
Are you active or more sedentary? Does your family have a long history of negative health and genetic disease that you have to worry about? Do you feel that preventative care is the most important or are you not that worried about it? Your priorities are not wrong; they’re important. That’s why it’s imperative that you figure out what you need and want most out of your Medicare plan so that you know where to start and where you want to end up.
One might seem more affordable than another, but the plan might not offer all that you need to keep yourself healthy. You have to do a comparison of the plans that you want to consider for yourself, and that’s going to be what’s most important when it comes to taking advantage of your Medicare plan and making the most of what you have. By comparing different plans, you’re able to see what is available to you, what is not and how much you are paying for what you want and what you aren’t getting. This makes it easy for you to make the most of your Medicare plan.
See What you Used this Year
The best way to make the most of your Medicare plan is to see what you already used this year and what you did not. Did you use a lot of what was offered to you on your plan or did you require a lot of care that was not covered in your current plan? See what you did and did not do and focus your new plan on that information. For example, if you have comprehensive eye coverage and you haven’t been to the optometrist more than your annual visit in the past 10 years, perhaps you don’t need so much coverage there and you can apply the cost of getting rid of that to something a little more useful to your own personal health needs.
If you really want to take advantage of your Medicare Plan and make the most of it, you have to take care of you. The best way to do that is to keep yourself active. You can do it in so many ways. There is dance class, there is walking, swimming, there’s hiking and walking the dog, yoga and there’s sports and about a million other ways you can exercise every single day that will keep you healthy and young. It’s the key to living a long life and avoiding disease and illness, and that’s how you take advantage of your Medicare Plan.
Eat a Healthy Diet
In the same vain as taking care of yourself by being active, you should also take care to eat well. We are not saying you can’t have the birthday cake or the wine; we are just saying that you should have it in moderation and spend the vast majority of your time doing things like eating healthy foods that fuel your body instead of making you feel tired and sluggish. The healthier you eat, the better you feel. The better you feel, the less you have to see the doctor. The less you have to see the doctor, the better for your healthcare costs and your Medicare plan choices.
Understand the Benefits of Preventative Care
It might not seem like it’s much of a big deal at all, but Preventative Care is a big deal, and it can help you continue to take advantage of your Medicare plan for the rest of your life – and it might even be longer with this coverage. When you take advantage of preventative care, you take your own life and your health into your own hands. You might be able to prevent yourself from suffering from more expensive and dangerous diseases later in life. It’s going to prove one of the best ways to take advantage of your Medicare plan around.
Make Sure your Doctors are In-Network
Few things are as annoying as switching to a new health insurance plan or changing your coverage only to realize that your favorite doctor or specialist is not an in-network provider. Do your research and find out of the doctors you already use or hope to use in the coming year are covered under the Medicare plans you’re choosing and go from there. Out-of-network providers are often very expensive and very difficult to see, and they can cause a number of financial issues in your life.
Do Not Forget Your Drugs
Prescription medication adds up quickly when you’re taking it. I know this for a fact despite the fact that we don’t take much in our house. Our 4-year-old daughter has asthma and has to have treatments for that, and it adds up quickly. Additionally, our twins were born a month early and required special formula, medications and other things to keep them healthy for a while and many of those things were not covered under our insurance, and they were pricey in every sense of the word. To take advantage of your Medicare plan in the most beneficial manner, make sure that your prescription drugs are covered so that you are able to pay for them in an affordable manner. If you are not covered here, the costs add up quickly and significantly.
Find Free Information
A quick internet search in your city will tell you when there are any seminars or meetings being held in local municipalities that will provide you with information about Medicare and your health. This is free information that is designed to help you take advantage of your Medicare plan. If you can find these classes, take them; and not just now, either. Take them later in the year, take them as often as they are around so that you stay in the know and up-to-date on any changes and any new information for Medicare plan holders that might be available to you. I know that our church has someone come in at least once per year to discuss healthcare and Medicare with the older members, and many of them are quick to take advantage of that information.
See What Changed
I know that many of you are thinking that your plan is just find and you don’t need any new Medicare plans or coverages. However, you might not be aware of the changes that were made to your plan for the upcoming year. Make it your job to find out what changes have been made, what you can do to work on your Medicare plan and how you can best go about making it work for you. If there are changes you need to know about, now is the time to learn what they are and how they will affect you.
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