48 The QUEE NS Courier • wellness • OCTOBER 20, 2016 for breaking news visit www.qns.com WELLNESS s BE A ‘SMART SHOPPER’ WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT MEDICARE PLAN Whether groceries, health insurance, or anything else, everybody wants to get the best value for their money. And health care is no different — that’s why it’s a good idea to shop around for a plan. Cost is an important factor in any purchase, especially when it comes to health care, but it’s not the only thing to consider. There may be dozens of Medicare plans in your area, all with different costs and levels of coverage. How much are each plan’s premiums and deductibles? How much will you pay for the benefits and services you’re likely to use? Is there a limit on what you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for the year? If you’re currently in a plan, how does that plan stack up to the other plans that are available? Thinking about these things will help you make a smart choice to get good value that meets your own health care needs. Prescription drug coverage is another part of the cost puzzle. How much will your prescriptions cost under each plan? Does the plan cover the drugs you take? Remember, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, everyone who reaches the Part D coverage gap (or “donut hole”) will benefit from a discount of 60 percent on covered brand-name drugs. Only you can determine what mix of benefits and costs will work best with your needs and budget, but we can help. The Medicare Plan Finder makes it easy to compare plans so you can pick a plan that meets your needs. After you’ve narrowed your options, you can call the plans you’re interested in to get more details about their benefits and services, or check out their websites. And lastly, protect yourself from Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud wastes a lot of money each year and results in higher health care costs and taxes for everyone. Con artists commit Medicare fraud by getting people’s Medicare number. You can help fight Medicare fraud by never giving your Medicare number to get a free offer or gift. Protect your Medicare by protecting your Medicare number. If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of Medicare fraud, you can: Call 800-MEDICARE (800-633- 4227). TTY users should call 877- 486-2048. Report it online to the Office of the Inspector General. Call the Office of the Inspector General at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447- 8477). TTY users should call 800- 377-4950. From the Medicare Blog by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, blog.medicare.gov.
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