Ways To Save

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If you are in Original Medicare, the first step toward saving money is to use a doctor or provider that accepts Medicare assignment. Assignment means that your doctor, provider, or supplier has signed an agreement with Medicare (or is required by law) to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services.

Arizona Medicare Comparison PlanWhen doctors accept assignment, your out of pocket costs may be less.

In addition, if you have a Medicare supplement (Medigap) policy, the supplement will pick up all or a portion of what Medicare does not pay. Plan F for example, will cover 100% of the Medicare approved amounts so you have no out of pocket costs with Plan F.

Medicare supplement plans other than Plan F will require you to pay a portion of what Medicare approves, but does not pay.

If you are on Original Medicare and have a Medicare supplement, the best way to save money is to shop cost. By law, all Medicare supplement plans are standardized. This means for example, that all Medicare supplement plan F’s are the same and cannot differ in coverage from company to company.

In a similar way, all Medicare supplement plan G’s are standardized and cannot differ in coverage from company to company.

How To Create Your Own Medicare Comparison Plans

Find the letter of the plan that you want (for example: Plan G). Then compare the cost of Plan G offered by the various companies. The company and plan with the lowest cost by law has to have the same coverage as the company and plan with the highest cost.

All the claims are submitted electronically through the Medicare system.

Therefore, the best way to save money is to choose the Medicare supplement insurance company with the lowest cost for the plan and coverage that you are interested in.

If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan, then a Medicare comparison gets a little more complicated. Medicare Advantage Plans are not standardized; therefore, one company can offer different options than another company. In this case, you have to read the details of the plan and compare the details of those plans.

Medicare Advantage Plans use a provider directory so you must make sure that you live in the service area of the plan and that your doctor is part of that plan’s network. If you travel outside of the service area of the plan, you may have to pay more.

6 Questions You Must Get Answered

  • Are my doctors a part of this plan?
  • What is the monthly premium?
  • What is the co-pay when I see a doctor or other provider?
  • Are there deductibles for the doctor or hospital? If so, how much?
  • If I am admitted into a network hospital, do I have to pay a portion of the daily room rate? If so, how much?
  • What do I have to pay if I am admitted into an out of network hospital?

Written by Medicare Expert Andy Lockridge

Each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out of pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services (like whether you need a referral to see a specialist or if you have to go to only doctors, facilities, or suppliers that belong to the plan for non-emergency or non-urgent care.)

These rules can change each year. To make a medicare comparison you have to read the fine print.