Selecting or changing a Medicare plan

hand drawing the complicated interactions within Medicare

by Elliot Raphaelson for the Beacon

Selecting a Medicare plan is complex. I will discuss some of the important factors and sources of information that will help you avoid mistakes.

Traditional Medicare refers to Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance) and Part D (drug coverage). The major advantage of enrolling in traditional Medicare is that you can visit any hospital or doctor affiliated with Medicare without a referral or prior authorization. Although traditional Medicare is flexible, it may not be your most cost-effective choice.

An excellent resource is your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP is available in all states. You will be assigned an unbiased individual with expertise in Medicare to work with you. There is no cost. I volunteered for SHIP for several years.

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