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Allsup Outlines 10 Critical Questions to Answer When Evaluating Medicare Plans
Date:9/1/2009

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6. Are my drugs covered?

Each prescription drug plan has a formulary – or list of drugs that it covers. Plans can change which drugs they cover, so you need to review this list each year.
   
7. Are my prescriptions expensive enough that I could fall into the Medicare donut hole?

Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage and stand-alone Part D plans may have a coverage gap, referred to as a donut hole. Once you and your plan have paid a certain amount for your prescriptions, you’ll have to pay the full cost, up to $3,453.75 in 2009. Only after this out-of-pocket amount is paid does Medicare begin to pay for your prescription costs again.

8. How much will I have to pay?

Traditional Medicare may be inexpensive, but it comes with high deductibles. Medicare Advantage plans may have similar or higher monthly premiums than traditional Medicare, but offer a zero-dollar deductible and low co-pays (e.g., $20 doctor visit co-pays). Some plans also cap total out-of-pocket costs.

9. Will the plan cover additional services, such as dental and vision care?

Some Medicare Advantage plans cover dental, vision and health and wellness programs not available through traditional Medicare.

10. Will I be covered while traveling?

Traditional Medicare provides coverage throughout the country. Some Medicare Advantage plans restrict coverage to certain areas, but many offer out-of-network coverage if you have an emergency while traveling. If
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