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Decisions, Decisions: Medicare Choices

Choosing a Medicare plan can be a daunting task, but with some guidance, seniors can make an informed decision that meets their health needs and budget. Here are some steps to help choose a Medicare plan:

  • Understand the different parts of Medicare: Medicare is divided into four parts - Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

    1. Part A covers hospital insurance,

    2. Part B covers medical insurance - think going to the doctors office,

    3. Part C is Medicare Advantage, which combines Parts A, B, and often Part D,

    4. Part D covers prescription drugs.

Want to understand more about deciding between Medicare Advantage & Medigap? We can easily explain it to you in terms of your needs. 773-457-1952 or

  • Assess your healthcare needs: Seniors should evaluate their healthcare needs and determine what kind of coverage they require -

    • Consider your medical history, any ongoing health conditions, and any regular medications that you take. Make a list!

  • Compare different plans: Once you have identified your healthcare needs, compare different plans available in your area.

    • Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medigap policies? Both are excellent choices and will be a personal decision based on what plan matches up to your list of medical/health needs.

  • Consider out-of-pocket expenses: Look at the out-of-pocket costs, such as premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, associated with the different plans. Seniors should consider a plan that covers their needs and has an affordable out-of-pocket cost.

    • This is the biggest decision for most people - do you want to pay a monthly premium with a Medigap policy & pay very little when you need to seek care OR do you want small to no monthly premium & then pay co-pays when you seek care?

  • Check network coverage: Check if your doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies are in the plan's network, and if they are not, how much it will cost to go out of network.

  • Enroll in a plan: Once you have chosen a plan, enroll in it during the Medicare enrollment period.

    • Is this your first time enrolling? Check to make sure you're within your Initial Enrollment (IEP) window!

    • Plans change annually and everyone has the opportunity to evaluate their current plan during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) of October 15 to December 7.

  • Seek help: If you are still unsure or confused, seek help from a Medicare counselor, Certified Senior Advisor®, a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), or a licensed insurance agent. Tight Ship Advisors is on stand by to help you get the right information that you need to make your decision in a timely manner.

By following these steps, you can select a Medicare plan that meets your healthcare needs and budget.

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