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View Diary: Best Medicare Advantage Plan? (40 comments)

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  •  Just helped my Dad change plans. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, ExStr8, MillieNeon, hazey

    The best way to compare plans is to go to the medicare.gov website and find out which plans are available in your zip code. It is pretty easy to hack through the questions, there are only 4. If you indicate you don't know anything about your current plan or supplemental assistance, and bypass the question about which prescriptions you use, a comprehensive list of available plans comes up (although if you fill the Rx page out, the annual cost estimates will be better tailored to your actual circumstances).

    On the list you will see details about costs and insurance coverage differences of the various plans and you will also see they have been reviewed (so many stars out of 5). Some of the plans have no added premiums, but others do. Some of the plans in my Dad's zip code were panned by Medicare (reviews were poor for several years in a row, no stars, just a warning from Medicare). So you know right away there is some kind of service problem with those plans, and if you have more choices, you should avoid those plans.

    It sounds like you have a primary care physician you want to keep, so you need to investigate which plans include your doctor in their networks. You may be able to reduce the field of contenders down to just a few that way.

    For my Dad, I called all the prospective providers and found that some were quite helpful and responsive ... others, not so much.  Since we were unfamiliar with the plans, we opted to go with a plan that will allow him to stay with his usual doctors, that had relatively good customer telephone support.

    It's pretty easy to do your research on the medicare.gov website.  Dad had a handbook that was helpful, too. If you don't have one for 2013 you should ask Medicare to send you one.

    Good luck.

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