Planning your Medicare Plan
Commonly Overlooked Pieces of Your Medicare Retirement Plan
Medicare enrollment can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, especially for first-time enrollees. The variety of plans and the costs associated with each can make it difficult to compare and gain a complete understanding of your total annual costs. Even if you have a comprehensive retirement plan that takes into account your health, circumstances can change. There is no crystal ball to tell you how your retirement will unfold. Planning your Medicare Plan
While impossible to forecast your future health, there are several ways to prepare for the unexpected and protect your retirement plan, and your health. Planning your Medicare Plan
So, how do you best predict your medication expenses? Evaluating your current health and lifestyle is a good place to begin:
- Do you have any chronic conditions, or pre-conditions?
- Are you active? Do you maintain a healthy diet?
- Do you take medications for non-chronic conditions or ailments that may be expected to continue?
- Do you have a family history of chronic conditions?
Be honest when answering these questions, as they’ll set an important baseline. For example, if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, it is possible diabetes could be in your future. Patients with diabetes spend an average of $13,700 annually on medical expenses.
Your planning should also take into account potential medication price increases, which can often rise much faster than the prices of other consumer goods. The average American will likely have at least one chronic condition and end up spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars through retirement on healthcare costs, so these predictions are vital in planning.
Think about ways to save. Consider plans that offer lower copayments for generics, and have generic equivalents or alternatives on their formulary – or list of covered medications – to the medications you take. Using generics, you can often save up to two/thirds on your prescriptions. Planning your Medicare Plan
Switching delivery methods, brands, or even pharmacies may also provide some cost savings, and many plans even have online tools that can help you compare these costs. Always take your medication as prescribed. Skipping doses can feel like it’s making a prescription last longer, but the long-term health effects and potential associated costs make skipping doses ineffective and possibly even dangerous.
Expect the unexpected. You can never accurately predict all of your healthcare costs. Have contingency plans in place for any unanticipated medical expenses. These can range from car accidents to surprise diagnoses, which may impact you directly, or indirectly through a loved one. Surprise costs aren’t so much a matter of “if” they happen, but rather “when” they happen, and you’ll thank yourself later if you build in a buffer.
You’ll never be sure of what tomorrow brings until it arrives, but with thorough planning and preparation, you can ensure that you’ll be ready to take on whatever comes your way. These commonly-overlooked issues are a great place to start, but only by fully evaluating every option available to you, in the context of your own individual health, will you be able to choose the best plan for you now, and in the future. For more information and helpful tips, sign up for a free newsletter about retirement planning and Medicare at http://www.roadmapformedicare.com/sign-up.
Planning your Medicare Plan
About the Author
Jeff has been the CEO of Senior.com for 12 years. Senior.com has grown under Jeff’s leadership, in fact when the website was first launched, the member base grew form Zero to over 700,000 in less the 3 years. Current, has over 1,600,000 registered members.
Jeff received his MBA degree in Managerial Finance and Investor Relations from the University of Phoenix and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.View All Articles