Choosing a Plan
The best way to decide which Medicare plan fits your needs is by doing research and asking questions. There are many resources available, from the Medicare website to your friends and family.
Some topics to think about:
- Type and number of prescription drugs you use and how much they cost.
- Providers you see regularly and the conditions you see them for.
- The number of times you travel and whether you travel out of the country.
- Whether you require the flexibility to see providers outside a network.
- Your health care costs for the previous years.
- Whether you will need financial help to pay for Medicare.
Once you figure out your health care priorities, it will be much easier to decide what would work best for you – physically and financially. For more help, check out www.medicare.gov and the resources listed on this site. You can also download a helpful worksheet to figure out your annual health care expenses, so you can see how much you spend and what type of plan would be right for you.
Star ratings, compiled annually by Medicare, are an unbiased way to compare Medicare plans based on quality, value and performance. Health and pharmacy services are rated together through information gathered from clinicians, member surveys and other trusted sources.
Stars for each plan show how well the plan performs cumulatively on a set of quality measures, designed to help you objectively choose a plan. Ratings are based on a five star scale, with one star meaning "poor" quality ranging up to five stars for "excellent" quality. Visit www.medicare.gov to find the star ratings of the private insurance companies you’re interested in.
*Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system.