Choosing the Right Medicare Plan: Tips for Virginia Residents
With its stunning beaches, scenic mountains, and culinary delights, Virginia is an excellent place to explore, relax, and live. But you have to stay healthy to enjoy all that it offers. That’s where Medicare plans in Virginia come in.
But with so many options, choosing the right Medicare plan as a Virginia resident can be daunting. You need not worry. As a top Virginia Medicare independent agency, we’ve provided tips to enable you to make an informed decision.
Understand the basics of Medicare
Medicare is split into four parts. A basic understanding of the benefits and coverage of the Medicare parts will help you determine the best for your needs.
There’s Original Medicare (Parts A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and prescription drug coverage (Part D). You can also enroll in a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap) to help pay Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket expenses.
Assess your healthcare needs
How is your overall health? Do you have a chronic condition or disability and will need Medicare disability benefits? Do you need specialist care? Does your treatment plan include a surgical procedure?
Are you taking generic prescription medication or specialty ones like insulin? Do you need vision or dental care? Understanding your health needs will help determine what Medicare coverage is right for you.
Choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage
There are about 1.6 million residents receiving benefits from Medicare in Virginia (2023). Of this figure, one-third are enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA). This means that you can choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage to be a beneficiary of Medicare in Virginia.
Original Medicare (Part A and B) offers hospital and medical coverages. However, you can get both coverages plus other benefits when you sign up for Medicare Advantage. For instance, most MA plans cover prescription drugs, dental and vision care, gym membership, and other services.
Compare Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia
If you choose Medicare Advantage over Original Medicare, you’ll have to do your research. As MA plans are offered through private insurers, plans vary from provider to provider.
Also, Virginia’s 95 counties and 38 independent cities all have MA plans, but the availability of plans differs from one county to the other. For instance, Richmond City has 67 plans compared to the 29 plans of Buckingham County (2023).
Compare the benefits, premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs of these plans and ensure your preferred healthcare providers are in the plan’s network.
Review available Virginia Medicare Part D plans
If you’re opting for Original Medicare and need help paying for prescription drugs, you’ll need a stand-alone Part D plan. Presently, there are 24 Medicare Part D plans in Virginia (2023), and the list of drugs covered, premium, deductible, and benefit types vary from plan to plan.
Premium can be as low as $6 and as high as $100. Some plans offer full low-income subsidy (LIS) for those who qualify, while others do not. So it’s important to look for an available plan that covers the drugs you need at a cost you can afford.
Seek professional help in choosing a Medicare plan
Medicare can be complex and confusing, especially if you are just transitioning. But you don’t have to navigate it alone. With the above tips, you can find the plan that provides the right coverage and gives you peace of mind.
And if you need more help, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment. We are Virginia’s foremost independent Medicare agent and can help you find a plan that meets your unique needs at an affordable cost.