My Experience With Choosing A Medicare Plan
This has been one of the toughest years I can remember in many ways. The invasion of COVID-19 has been devastating in terms of people’s livelihoods as well as presenting a very real threat to our health. I have been more lucky than many in that I am covered by the Veterans Administration for my health needs, but have been forced into Medicare as well.
One thing I am now very pleased that I did last year in December was switch from my prior Medicare plan to a special WellMed plan. I went from having a pretty significant amount subtracted from my Social Security check every month to having nothing at all deducted for Medicare. I’m even receiving an additional benefit of a number of “free” goods from a Walmart pharmacy each quarter, which I get to personally select and have mailed to me.
I have to admit I have not taken advantage of their dental nor hearing benefits, and really should, but due to socially isolating because of COVID-19 it hasn’t been a priority.
As a veteran, my primary care doctors are at the Dallas Veterans Hospital, however, there are times it is much quicker and more convenient to visit a local physician in the suburb where we live.
Last year, we had ads in Focus Daily News, saying we could go with a plan that would cost us nothing instead of traditional Medicare so I called, and decided I would do it since I still have the V.A. and it would be saving me a lot of money. After all, I rarely took advantage of Medicare, even though I have had it for a few years.
Now that we are over ten months into the year, I am glad I did. I now have the best of both worlds.
Just as I was confused, you may be as well, so you need to call and find out if a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you. This is valid for you, whether a veteran or not, since if you are paying a sizable amount for Part B Medicare, you could save a lot of money.
There are some key factors to consider as you work to select a plan before the December 7 deadline, the end of the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period:
A Medicare Advantage plan may complement your existing VA benefits and help reduce gaps in your healthcare coverage. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan may provide access to additional services and benefits, like urgent care and dental coverage which may not be covered by VA health care.
For example, Medicare Advantage plans are available to anyone eligible for Medicare. These may complement VA benefits and provide beneficiaries with additional benefits, like robust dental care and $0 plan premiums.
When you add a Medicare plan, your VA prescription drug coverage would continue to cover prescriptions written or approved by a VA doctor. Now, my regular VA prescriptions are mailed to me each month just as they always have been. However, my Medicare Advantage plan covers anything my local doctor might prescribe in an emergency and any certain Part B medications, like injectable drugs and infusions, which may be beneficial based on some other health needs that it might not be convenient to go all the way to he VA to see a doctor to obtain a prescription.
If you sign up for a plan with Medicare prescription drug coverage, it would cover certain medicines from non-VA doctors and allow you to fill your prescriptions at local network pharmacies instead of through the VA. My local Kroger has covered any emergency prescriptions I have needed.
There are several advantages to having both Medicare Advantage and VA benefits so be sure to leverage available resources – such as virtual education events and one-on-one virtual meetings with licensed sales agents – to learn safely during this COVID-19 pandemic.
From October 15-december 7 You Can Choose 2021 Medicare Coverage
You can visit www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk to them or you can call Wellcare directly to learn about their plans at 1-844-986-0048. Licensed sales agents are available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
You can discuss your options with a licensed Wellcare representative to find out more about the availability of no cost or low do-pay Tier 1 generic prescriptions which can be delivered to your home. Benefits which may be available for you, whether a veteran or not include how you can save or get back up to $1,140 in your social security check each year; how you can receive up to $1,000 in dental coverage each year and $750 in hearing benefits; Telehealth online doctor visits, COVID-19 testing and treatments; $100 in over the counter items annually and free fitness benefits.