Tips for talking to your doctor about Medicare

Choosing a Medicare plan is a big decision for your health. When it comes to finding the right Medicare plan for you, consider talking to your doctor about your health needs.

You know by now that you’re your own best advocate when it comes to your health care. And equally important is to have other people in your corner who can help you make the best decisions for your health. Your doctor is one of those people. You can talk to your doctor when you’re getting ready to shop for a Medicare plan.

Tips for talking to your doc

1. Know your questions.

Think about your top concerns and write them down in advance. Have a plan for how you’ll use your time with the doctor. Consider using this Medicare Consultation sheet for examples of good questions you could ask.

2. Focus on your current health needs.

Your doctor is not a Medicare expert. But your doctor does know you, your health history, etc. So make sure you’re focused on understanding your current health needs and using that information to understand how your future Medicare benefits could apply.

3. Think about prevention.

Basic preventive and screening services are covered by Medicare. Your doctor may be able to tell you about the additional preventive measures you should take for your health in the coming year. As you shop, you can figure out if those items are covered benefits on different Medicare plans.

4. Medications matter.

Most Medicare plans offer prescription drug coverage (Part D). As you think about your Part D options, you may want to talk to your doctor and get a list of the drugs you’re taking so you can see if your drugs are covered by the plans you’re considering.

5. Expand beyond your doctor.

There is other staff in the doctor’s office who can answer questions. Consider asking the billing staff your Medicare billing questions. You want to have a plan you can afford. See the Medicare Consultation sheet for questions for other office staff. Most Medicare plans and medicare.gov have online shopping tools you can use to compare and see how much plans cost.

With some research and good, candid conversations with your doctor and other office staff, you’ll be well on your way to finding the Medicare plan that meets your needs.