If you already know the basic parts that make up Medicare, the next step is putting together coverage that best suits your particular health and wellness needs.

Here's a breakdown of Medicare coverage:

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) covers a lot, but not everything. Things like dental care, routine eye exams and eyeglasses, and routine hearing tests are not included in Parts A and B, but are available through a Medicare Advantage plan. Other things that could be included are over-the-counter allowances, transportation services, healthy meal deliveries, companionship programs, discounted gym memberships, weight management programs, chiropractic services or acupuncture.

Feeling overwhelmed choosing Medicare coverage?

We can help. First, make a chart. In the first column, write down the things that you want from your policy and the questions you want answered. Things like:

  • What type of policy do I want?

  • Is my doctor in the network?

  • How large is the network?
    • What is my budget?

  • What other benefits do I want/need? Be specific and list everything, like hearing aids, certain dental services, and eyeglasses to name a few.

  • Are my prescription drugs covered?

Next, make a column for each plan you are considering, and answer the questions from the first column. Doing this will give you a broad view as to what each plan offers and the cost. A word of caution: carefully consider the bottom line. A plan that has a zero or low monthly premium and higher out-of-pocket costs (like office visit copays and deductibles) may end up costing you more over time than a plan that has a slightly higher monthly premium but lower out-of-pocket costs.

Be sure to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B three months before your 65th birthday. This will ensure your benefits begin on your birthday. You can sign up through the Social Security Administration at ssa.gov.

Still have questions? Visit Capital Blue Cross online or make an appointment for a one-on-one consultation at one of our Capital Blue Cross Connect health and wellness centers. We’ll be happy to help you decide the choices that are best for you!