It’s that time of year to weatherize your house, your car—and your Medicare plan.

If you’re 65 years of age or older, and there’s been a change in the last year to your health, the prescription drugs you take or your financial status, now’s the time to give yourself a health plan checkup.

Start by asking yourself these questions about your Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan: 



>> Are my drugs, including any new prescriptions, covered?

>> Do I know what my plan covers?

>> Is my plan changing for next year?

>> What were my out-of-pocket costs this year?

>> Does my coverage travel with me?

>> Am I planning anything in the near future that needs to be considered, like moving to a new state or having surgery?

>> Are my doctors still in the provider network covered by my plan?

>> Am I taking advantage of all the benefits my plan has to offer? (This includes preventive benefits, like an annual exam, that may be available to you at no cost.)

>> What other value-add benefits are available to me under my health plan, such as vision exams and gym memberships?

If you answered “no” or “I’m not sure” to any of these questions, you might want to review your health care coverage more closely. Read the Medicare information your insurance company sent you. If you don’t understand it, reach out and contact your plan directly.

Medicare offers valuable information on their website, too.

The State of Nebraska’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) provides free education and advice about Medicare coverage options. The staff does not sell insurance. Call 1-800-234-7119.

It can be overwhelming to navigate Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D drug coverage. Sometimes it’s just good to talk to a family member, a friend or a trusted adviser to learn what would work best for you.

There’s nothing like being confident your house and car are ready for winter. The same is true for your Medicare coverage. Your health plan checkup may minimize any surprises about your benefits down the road and help you make a more informed decision.

You have until Dec. 7, when Medicare open enrollment ends, to make any changes.

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